Hulu UK entry marked by ad sales disagreement

LONDON - The UK launch of Hulu, the online VoD service backed by News Corp, Disney and NBC Universal, is being hampered by an inability to secure UK content from Channel 4 and ITV owing to an ad sales disagreement.

Channel 4 VoD content Desperate Housewives
Channel 4 VoD content Desperate Housewives

According to sources close to the situation, Hulu wants to retain control over ad sales around all, or at least, the vast majority of content on its yet-to-launch UK platform. However, Channel 4 and ITV have been unwilling to allow this.

Channel 4 struck a deal with YouTube in March to sell advertising around its own content on the Google-owned video-sharing site.

It is thought, however, that discussions are continuing, with all sides hopeful of a resolution.

Hulu, which also counts private equity investor Providence among its backers, insists it is making progress towards a possible UK launch and there is no suggestion that Hulu's UK plans are terminally damaged by the Channel 4 and ITV disagreement.

Once Hulu enters the UK, it will be hoping to capitalise on the opport-unity wrought by the demise of Project Kangaroo, the planned VoD service from BBC Worldwide, Channel 4 and ITV blocked from launch by the Competition Commission earlier this year.

Channel 4, Hulu and ITV declined to comment.

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