The Walt Disney Co. has joined fellow multimedia giants NBC Universal and News Corp. as stakeholders and content providers for the growing TV Web site. Disney is promising a host of programming, including such ABC staples as Lost, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty.
The Walt Disney Co. has agreed to join NBC Universal, News Corp. as an equity partner and supplier of programming on Hulu, a leading destination for online TV, it was announced this morning.
As a member of the consortium, Disney is promising to distribute on the site a host of programs from ABC and Disney-owned cable networks, including Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Private Practice, Ugly Betty, Scrubs, Greek, Hope & Faith, Less than Perfect, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, General Hospital, The View and The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
“From our landmark iTunes deal to our pioneering decision to stream ad-supported shows on our ABC.com player, Disney has sought to meet the constantly evolving viewing habits of our consumers, and today’s Hulu announcement is the next important step in that ongoing journey,” said Disney CEO Robert A. Iger.
“We look forward to working with Hulu to build value for our consumers, our brands and our shareholders.”
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said that the Disney content will help Hulu in its goal to provide Web users with programming “when, where and how they want it.”
Following the closing, Disney content available to Hulu users will include:
- Full-length episodes of ABC primetime programs like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Samantha Who?, Scrubs, Private Practice and the late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live.
- Full-length episodes of hit ABC Family series like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Greek.
- Series from ABC Daytime and SOAPnet like General Hospital and The View.
- Classic series from ABC’s library like Hope & Faith, Less than Perfect, Commander in Chief, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Dancing with the Stars.
- Select programs from the Disney Channel like Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb.
- Library titles from The Walt Disney Studios Short-form content including webisodes, sneak peeks and episode recaps from ABC Entertainment, ABC Family and SOAPnet
“Hulu, quite simply, now has the best premium content on the web,” said Peter Chernin, president and COO, News Corp. “With three major networks and over 150 leading content providers providing content, combined with the best video user interface anywhere on the web, Hulu offers consumers the finest premium online video experience available today.”
Jonathan M. Nelson, CEO of Providence Equity Partners, which holds an equity stake in Hulu, said Hulu “is creating significant value for users, advertisers and content owners.”
As an equity partner, Disney will have three directors on the Hulu board: Iger; Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, executive vice president, corporate strategy, business development & technology.
The transaction is subject to regulatory review.