Report: Disney In Talks With Hulu

Seeking an equity stake in the site in exchange for putting its content there
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Disney is in talks to send its video content, including programming from ABC, to Hulu, according to a report by Paidcontent.org.

Disney is seeking an equity stake in the site in exchange for putting its content there, the report says.

Hulu, which is co-owned by NBC Universal and News Corp., has been trying to build its library with programming from third party production companies and networks, though the two majors provide much of the high profile content.

Outgoing News Corp. president and COO Peter Chernin has been a big booster for Hulu. With his departure looming, there have been reports that the company may try to seek a sweeter deal from the site.

The problem is that if the site were to lose either of those two partners, a significant portion of its content would disappear, damaging the site’s ability to draw visitors.

The addition of ABC would help make the site more of the one-stop digital video-stop it hopes to become and would provide a backup in the event NBC U or News Corp. were to pull out.

It is also unlikely that users will see content from CBS anytime soon. Hulu pulled its content from CBS owned TV.com last month, sparking a legal battle. CBS maintains that it has the right, under its previous contract with Hulu, to embed its videos on its own site. Hulu maintains that when CBS revamped TV.com to effectively become a direct competitor, the contract no longer applied.

The Paidcontent report says that Disney may only make the deal if NBC U and News Corp. were to extend their contracts with the site. Currently, the deals with Hulu expire after two years, agreements that will have to be renegotiated before they expire this Fall.

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