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Hulu has emerged as one of the most popular online video destinations since its launch in 2007, with some 380 million videos viewed on the site last month, up 14.3% from February.

DISNEY GETS HULU HOOPED

Company Will Buy 30% Stake in NBC and News Corp Website, and Will Bring Its Shows There
Mickey Mouse comes to Hulu.

The Walt Disney Company will buy a 30% stake in popular TV website Hulu, bringing such hit shows at Lost and Grey’s Anatomy to the web site established by NBC Universal and News Corp.

Disney’s decision, the result of months of negotiation, means that three of the four major U.S. broadcast networks are now represented by Hulu, with CBS the lone holdout.

Disney will get three seats on the 12-member board, the same as News Corp and NBC

Universal, who each also hold a 30% interest in the service.

Hulu has emerged as one of the most popular online video destinations since its launch in 2007, with some 380 million videos viewed on the site last month, up 14.3% from February, according to comScore, making it one of the top three U.S. online video sites.

According to Hulu Chief Exec Jason Kilar, conversations with CBS are continuing.

The company said it believes in "controlling our own rights" for content across media. "CBS has long employed open, non-exclusive content partnerships that allow fans across the Internet to engage with our programming in such a way that we control our distribution, sales and profit," read a statement.

Other media companies, including Viacom, provide movies or TV shows to the web site, but in deals that involve advertising revenue sharing without ownership stakes.

The only other ownership stakes are held by Providence Equity Partners, which has two seats on the board, and employees of Hulu, whose chief executive has one seat.

Disney had previously offered ABC programming on its web site and its local affiliates' sites, on AOL.com and on Comcast's Fancast.

Hulu is currently considering adding music videos, sports and news, while looking at expanding the service outside the U.S.

Elsewhere, cable network owners are working on plans to move more of their shows online but are trying to devise strategies that do not undermine the standard cable-network-affiliate-fee business model.

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes is championing "TV Everywhere," which would allow subscribers to watch cable TV shows online that they've already paid for with their package. Comcast is working on a similar plan called Online on Demand.

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