ABC Looks For Viewers On Hulu

How Long, Then, Before An Official Distribution Deal?

By Published on .

Hulu has had plenty of success getting TV networks onboard -- 130 in all. But neither ABC nor CBS has yet signed on. ABC's excuse is that it distributes video only on sites that accept its proprietary video player from Move Networks, such as Veoh and AOL. CBS? Well, we don't know why CBS isn't distributing through Hulu, except maybe that it is developing its own TV portal,, into a competitor.

But if ABC won't distribute on Hulu, it definitely sees NBC Universal and News Corp.'s joint venture as a competitor. Broadcasting & Cable's Alex Welprin noticed that ABC is running promo ads on Hulu shows for its sitcom "Better Off Ted," including the option of watching a full trailer of the show, in exchange for getting "King of the Hill" commercial-free.

Why do this? When a Hulu user searches for an ABC show, such as "Desperate Houseweives," Hulu links to's player -- so ABC is fully aware of how much traffic Hulu is sending its way and how many Hulu users are looking for ABC content on Hulu. If ABC considers Hulu a significant enough source of viewers to advertise, how long before ABC drops its player requirement and starts distributing directly through Hulu?

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