It was announced earlier today that Disney is becoming an equity partner in the News Corp./NBC-Universal online video streaming venture, Hulu. Though a relatively new website, it was founded in March 2007, Hulu has rapidly gained market share and is certainly a favorite among audiences.
Hulu allows visitors to the site to stream a multitude of television shows – both past and present – as well as clips and other materials related to NBC and FOX programs (and from other sources). Episodes are streamed with a minimal number of commercials and for many series are available the day after the initial broadcast.
Disney’s joining Hulu will allow for shows not just from ABC, but from ABC Family, Disney Channel, and SOAPnet to appear on the site. Once the deal closes series like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Scrubs, Wizards of Waverly Place, General Hospital, and The Secret Life of the American Teenager will be available for viewing.
The deal means that three of the five major networks will now be a part of the site, with only CBS and The CW left out in the cold. Hulu was already one of the premiere places to go to stream television shows, legally, for free, and this announcement – which has been rumored for weeks – will only cement the portal’s position.
Providence Equity Partners is also a part-owner of the site.