Hulu Coming To Australia Via Channel Nine?

Hulu Coming To Australia Via Channel Nine?

The inability to access TV streaming service Hulu outside the US is a perennial source of frustration to many Australian viewers. Now it looks like publishing giant PBL may be bringing Hulu’s framework, if not all its content, to Aussie audiences.

James Chessell and Geoff Elliott at The Australian report that PBL — owner of TV network Nine and magazine publisher ACP — is finalising a joint-venture agreement with Hulu. Details are sketchy and nothing’s official yet, but it seems clear that this arrangement wouldn’t bring access to the existing US Hulu current programming stream, though it might offer older versions of shows from various US networks. Whether Hulu in Australia becomes really appealing would depend on whether the other commercial networks came on board, which apparently is an open question at this point. Given how long network co-operation on simpler arrangements such as an electronic program guide (EPG) took, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

There’s also the issue of whether Hulu would try to offer a paid subscription service with better content, or stick to the US-only model. Would you welcome the appearance of Hulu, or does this approach sound like a missed opportunity? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Petre back at PBL ahead of float [The Australian]


  • If it uses the standard Hulu platform this could be great.

    In Aus we currently have a bunch of disparate streaming services, and most of them only work properly on a PC. On a PS3 (for example), iView and 7’s service are there but are incredibly poorly implemented. Hulu, on the other hand, has the sway to get itself implemented properly on a wide array of platforms (PS3, iOS, etc).

    Sure, it costs US$10 a month to access it from your PS3 in the US at the moment, but if they manage to get enough content on there, I’d happily pay it.

    The other issue will be deals with ISP’s, like iView has. Our bandwidth limitations stop streaming all our TV being feasable.

      • Source? Right now, Telstra’s limited unmetered options are pretty much exclusively tied to its own content and platforms. If it doesn’t offer iView, why would it offer Hulu?

  • Hulu available in Australia would be fantastic. It would hurt, but I’d be happy with the delayed availability of content that has been purchased by Aus based FTA stations in return for current content on shows that they’ve passed on.

    The shows’ exclusive rights would have to have an expiry date, after that they would be available to show on Hulu to avoid a station buying the rights and then sitting on it indefinitely.

  • Hulu and Netflix (amongst others) in the US tread that line between a) users who are willing to pay for an on-demand service with the latest shows and movies, and b) those users who are willing to break the law to download the same content via torrents.

    If Hulu (Aus) does not have the latest shows, I doubt it will sway those torrent users who might be willing to pay. Why pay for something thats old (even though its legitimate) when you can get it on a torrent for free, with little risk of sanction? – (at least in Australia)

  • The problem is with content. As long as the networks have a strangle on content deals that make it impossible to see the latest shows on Hulu, people will still just turn to torrents. I would happily pay a small monthly subscription fee for the content as long as it was up to date. Why would I want to watch a tv show again that aired last year on a free to air channel? There has to be a business and revenue plan to placate the need for advertising and delayed telecasts! This will happen in about 500yrs by my calculations…

  • If Channel 9 is doing this, chances are it will be poorly implemented, run and it won’t have much content; Much like Channels 9, 90 (GEM) and 99 (Go).

    Coming in via a, hopeless, TV broadcaster is a huge mistake, they should be coming in to Aus via ISPs.

    I’d really like to see it here but I don’t think that this is the right way to go about it.

  • One can only speculate, but my guess is that the aussie version hulu will be nothing but junk and will be hulu in name only. Like Inti stated who really needs it,those that want it have it already.

  • Channel bittorrent yeah,… At least you can get the full series and not worry about missing the end of a show because they went over by 15 minutes,…. again :{

  • If this goes ahead, great. I only ask one thing

    Don’t change the name. I hate it when that happens. You release what is essentially the same service but some marketing douche bag, trying to justify their paycheque says “Hulu” isn’t Aussie enough, lets call it billabong-a-doo-woo. That will get the kids onboard”

    You have one more change PBL!!! DONT PISS ME OFF!!!

  • only if it was free. as they are already making $ with advertising as normal free to air television does. if it is free you will get more viewers meaning advertising is worth more.

  • I just searched IP Australia’s trademarks database and it looks like there’s an Australian trademark for Hulu-which lends some credibility to a possible launch of Hulu in Australia.

    There’s still no word on the status of Nine Enternatiment Co’s joint-venture agreement with Hulu.

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