TV.com Fires Back at Hulu

CBS says TV.com has the right to air Hulu content
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CBS's TV.com fired the latest salvo in an ongoing battle with News Corp./NBC Universal backed video site, Hulu over who gets to air which shows online and where.

Earlier this week, Hulu yanked its material off rival CBS' TV.com saying, "Hulu has contractual rights with regards to our relationship with TV.com and we are exercising those rights. Out of respect for their confidentiality, we will not disclose our discussions."

Then late yesterday, the CBS Website issued a combative statement defending its right to continue to Webcast the top shows from NBC's and Fox's programming library.

The statement read: "CBS Interactive is well within its rights to stream Hulu video content on TV.com under its agreement with Hulu. We are evaluating our next steps at this time."

According to executives close to the talks, News Corp. and NBC Universal have been talking to CBS about using CBS' top rated shows on their jointly owned site Hulu. CBS declined an invitation to join from the outset of Hulu's launch last October. CBS has been taking advantage of Hulu's syndicated business model which allows for video material to appear in numerous places such as Fox and NBC's own Websites in addition to Hulu. NBC and News Corp. product also appears on AOL, MSN and Yahoo Video.

CBS' TV.com site had previously been a destination for users wishing to mostly read about TV shows, its re-launch in January as a rival to Hulu is believed to be what irked Hulu's backers. The parties are arguing about whether TV.com's re-launch as a prime video destination could be construed as a change of contract.

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