TV streaming service Hulu is preparing to launch in Australia with reports suggesting the project flagging it might launch with or without the support of the commercial free-to-air TV networks.
Hulu, which offers free ad-supported on-demand streaming of TV shows and movies, has been a runaway hit in the US, where it garners hundreds of millions of streams a month on desktop computers and internet-connected TVs. NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment Group and Disney all own roughly equal stakes in the company.
In the strongest indication yet that Hulu is launching in Australia, the company filed for an Australian trademark on March 29th.
Local TV networks have been reluctant to support Hulu because there is a fear that it will drive people away from their core business – broadcast TV. However, some networks are embracing the service fearing they might miss out on capitalising on the shift towards online TV streaming.
Nine is the furthest along the path to joining Hulu and the network reportedly signed a heads of agreement with the company late last year. It is understood Hulu has also had talks with Seven, Ten and the ABC.