As anyone who uses Hulu regularly could tell you, the lack of shows from ABC and CBS can, on occasion, be glaring. If you need to get your CSI: Miami fix or Grey’s Anatomy booster, you need to check in to the respective network’s own web properties, or a small selection of other sites such as Sling.com or TV.com.
However, at least one ABC show has popped up on the NBC Universal-News Corp. owned video site.
When checking out last Sunday’s King of The Hill (a Fox show) on Hulu, I was given the option of viewing three regular commercial spots spread throughout the episode, or an extended trailer for the new ABC sitcom Better Off Ted.
In other words, ABC isn’t putting full episodes of its shows on Hulu to drum up some extra revenue (albeit chump change in the grand scheme of things). It is, however, willing to pay up and have commercials for its shows to be seen right before programming from competing networks.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has repeatedly said in public appearances that he wants to make his site a one-stop shop for user’s entertainment needs. To that end, he has tried to earn goodwill by turning Hulu into a video search engine. If you go to the site and search for Private Practice , Hulu will pull up clips and full episodes of the ABC drama, linking back to ABC.com. That feature has been enabled since the site launched last year.
The primary goals of linking back were to make the site easier for users, and eventually to lure ABC (or CBS) to put their own shows on Hulu. I suppose advertising revenue is, in some respects, even better.