Speculation about a potential partnership between Hulu and Channel Nine kicked off last year when The Australian reported that a joint venture between the two was under consideration. A report in today’s Sydney Morning Herald essentially acts like that’s a done deal, but doesn’t really bring any new information to the table.
Julian Lee’s report focuses on what the rest of the Freeview consortium will do following “Nine’s decision to go it alone and strike a deal with the US online portal Hulu”, but doesn’t actually offer any details about that apparent deal. Given that Freeview’s main emphasis so far has been on promoting broadcast free-to-air television (albeit often in a very klutzy fashion) and its own EPG, Hulu won’t necessarily make a difference. It might act as an alternative to a Freeview-branded online catchup site, but there’s been no evidence yet that Nine would want to bring other networks into the fold.
As Lifehacker reader Anthony has pointed out elsewhere in our comments, Hulu has said it is actively exploring international deals, but hasn’t offered any concrete details in that forum either. A single-network version of Hulu is frankly no different to offering a channel-branded catch-up service, so it will be interesting to see how this evolves. If you’re not across the ins and outs of Hulu, we covered them in some depth recently. Thanks Anthony for the spot!