Hulu Adds Viacom Shows

Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart , The Colbert Report Added to NBC Universal/News Corp. Video Site

Two programs from under the Viacom umbrella, Comedy Central’s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, were added to Hulu, the NBC Universal/News Corp. video site.

Full episodes of both programs are available on the site, as well as clips.

The Daily Show and Colbert Report are the only shows from any of the Viacom networks to appear on the site so far, and the company said it has no intention of adding additional shows from its networks at this time.

According to Comedy Central, the heightened political season made the decision to add the shows to Hulu, as well as sites such as Comcast’s Fancast, a logical one.

“With so much interest in the presidential campaigns, the upcoming conventions and the November election, both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report are part of the political zeitgeist now more than ever,” a spokesperson said. “We think exposing the shows to a wider audience at this time is a worthy experiment.”

At a press briefing last month announcing the redesigned, MTV Networks Entertainment Group executive vice president of digital media Erik Flannigan deflected a question asking if MTVN content would be added to Hulu, while praising the site:

“We think Hulu is a very interesting video platform with some great ad models on top of it,” he said.

Viacom has been very aggressive in fighting copyright infringement online. The company is currently embroiled in a $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube, in part because the Google-owned site hosted clips of shows such as The Daily Show and Colbert Report. Since then, the company has sought to make those shows as available as possible, allowing embeddable clips and striking syndication deals with other Web-video portals.

“There are no plans to add additional shows at this time but, as our deals with AOL, MSN, Comcast and others make clear, syndication is an important part of our content-distribution strategy at MTVN,” a spokesperson said. “We are monitoring all of our distributors to learn what's working for the audience and for advertisers.”