ITV close to signing content deal with Hulu
LONDON - ITV is reportedly close to signing a deal with US video-on-demand site Hulu to syndicate exclusive content in exchange for equity in the venture, which is owned by Disney, NBC Universal and News Corporation.
The broadcaster is just "weeks away" from announcing the deal, which will make Hulu the only third party website permitted to show full-length programmes made by ITV Productions for ITV, such as 'Coronation Street' and 'Dancing On Ice', according to the Daily Telegraph.
In exchange for the exclusive rights to these shows, ITV will reportedly be given equity in Hulu, which offers thousands of US TV shows, including 'The Simpsons', as well as movies.
Hulu has been in talks with British broadcasters including Channel 4 and the BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide to sign them up as content partners ahead of its launch in Britain.
Final terms of the deal are still being agreed as ITV reportedly wanted to retain the rights to sell the ads around its own content. The two firms are said to have reached a compromise.
ITV has described the reports on its involvement with Hulu as speculation and said it would not comment further.
BBC Worldwide recently signed a content deal with Microsoft's MSN video, which will allow viewers of the ad-funded service to watch old and new content from the BBC, including shows such as 'The Young Ones' and 'Mock The Week'.
It is thought that BBC Worldwide may secure a similar arrangement with Hulu, which is now expected to launch in the UK in the early part of 2010.
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