Walt Disney joins club Hulu

Posted by Aharon Etengoff

Chicago (IL) - The Walt Disney Company has confirmed that it will become a joint venture partner and equity owner of Hulu. The agreement is expected to "enhance" Hulu's programming line-up with Disney content, including series such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty and Scrubs.

"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," spun Disney CEO Robert A. Iger. "Disney and Hulu share a focus on delivering the highest-quality entertainment experience and we look forward to working with Hulu to build value for our consumers, our brands and our shareholders."

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar expressed similar sentiments.

"We're honored to welcome the Disney team in our mission to help people find and enjoy the world's premium content, when, where and how they want it. With the addition of shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy and many more to Hulu, we continue to aspire to deliver a service that users, advertisers and content owners unabashedly love," said Kilar.

According to the Disney, the company will maintain three seats on the Hulu Board. All other current directors from News Corp, NBC Universal and Providence will retain their current seats.

It should be noted that Disney has also inked a lucrative deal with YouTube to feature short-form content from ESPN and the Disney/ABC Television Group. Under the terms of the agreement, Disney Media Networks will have the option to sell their own advertising inventory within the Disney/ABC and ESPN channels.

"This deal provides us with the opportunity to reach a broader online audience, to experiment with different monetization models and to extend the reach of our advertisers within branded environments that they most desire," commented Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney's Media Networks.