Hulu pitches original content

Morgan Spurlock

US VoD service Hulu has made its first ever TV network-style programming presentation to US advertisers, unveiling original commissions from documentary film-maker Morgan Spurlock, Entourage’s Adrian Grenier and the creator of the popular video game franchise Assassin’s Creed.

Hulu, the joint venture whose partners include News Corporation, Disney and NBC Universal, has built its video streaming service on buying rights to existing TV shows, but a 60 per cent rise in revenue to $420 million in 2011 has seen the company look to invest in its own content.

“We want you to think of us as a cable TV network, or a slice of the prime time,” Hulu sales chief JP Colaco, told media buyers attending its event.

The VoD service launched its first original scripted series in February with the 13-part political comedy called Battleground, following the campaign trail of a third-place candidate in Wisconsin angling for a seat in the US senate. The latest commissions bring Hulu’s total slate of original commissions to seven.

“With Hulu we have the opportunity to do to TV what Sundance did for film,” said Andy Forssell, head of programming at Hulu, explaining how the company could open a market for shows that might not make the big US TV networks.

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