updated 04:30 pm EDT, Fri June 24, 2011
Hulu close to Disney deal following Fox
Tipsters said Friday that Hulu was wrapping up a deal to keep getting ABC and Disney shows. A pair of sources said a rough deal had already been set that would keep shows going in return for more than the 2.5 minutes of ads Hulu normally runs. The deal seen by AdAge could be completed within "weeks."
An agreement would come just days after reports of Hulu making another deal with Fox. The two would only leave NBC without having immediately reached a pact.
Hulu has been pushed to improve the ad revenue it generates for the three major studios that have stakes in its future. They have often blocked any attempts to make the service too attractive to cord-cutters that would drop their traditional TV for the streaming alternative. Despite Hulu being one of the most popular video sites of any kind in the US, its cash from ads is still well below that of legacy broadcasting and would see the studios take a big hit in the short term if too many switched over.
All of the deals would have unusual timing. Hulu is exploring a possible buyout offer from a mystery company and might have to renegotiate if it agrees to be taken over by someone else.