Hulu 'lays groundwork' for international sites

Rose Major

Internet TV service Hulu is a step closer to launch outside of the US with the company currently “laying the groundwork,” according to one senior executive.

Talking to the Financial Times, Andy Forssell, Hulu’s senior vice president of content acquisition and distribution, said the company was having talks in 6 to 8 markets to launch localised versions of the site.

In March, Hulu appointed Johannes Larcher to the role of SVP International. The company has also signed a slate of deals with non-US content providers including Endemol for reality shows, Digital Rights Group for comedies and Saavn for Bollywood movies – and is talking to the BBC and ITV. The international programming will be available to US Hulu users, with the producers getting a share of the advertising revenue generated by the site.

Backed by some of the US’s major content suppliers – News Corp’s Fox, NBC Universal and now ABC-Disney – the success of the service in international markets is, while not a foregone conclusion, highly likely. News of its developing plans are likely to make smaller internet TV operators, such as Europe’s Zattoo, somewhat nervous.