Home / News / Software News / Hulu UK Launch Plans Abandoned

Hulu UK Launch Plans Abandoned

Gordon Kelly


Hulu UK Launch Plans Abandoned


Hugely successful US television streaming service Hulu has abandoned plans to launch in the UK according to the Telegraph. The broadsheet reports Hulu was unable to get “any traction in the British TV market” and the “market does not match their business expectations”.

“Hulu’s talks with ITV have come to a halt because the broadcaster wants to focus on growing its own catch up service – ITV Player and not syndicate its content out to a third party at the moment," the paper quotes a "senior TV executive who has been close to the negotiations" as saying. "Conversations with Channel 4 and Five have also not come to any fruition because Hulu wants to sell the advertising inventory around both broadcasters’ content – like it does with US content - and this is not something either broadcaster is willing to concede ON. Hulu has told several people at the British broadcasters that it has been forced to abandon its UK expansion plans after failing to sign any content deals."

Officially Hulu has declined to comment on the deal, though the Telegraph says a source close to company (handy all these 'close' people, hint: it's normally a press byword for a person at the company speaking under agreement of anonymity) as saying "it remains hopeful that it can have a UK presence in the future – when the broadcasters realise they need to be more flexible with their business models."

All of which leaves us rather frustrated since Hulu seems to be missing the point entirely. We don't give a flying fig about UK content. We have that by the bucket load through BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Sky Player, 4oD and so forth. What we want is Hulu to bring all its existing tasty US licensing to the UK so we don't have to wait three years to see a new season of House, Dexter or even sodding Glee...

Wakey, wakey Hulu. Make it happen.


via The Telegraph


April 28, 2010, 7:49 am

*Bangs head on desk*

Do these companies not like making money? I simply do not understand why they persist in cutting off their noses to spites their faces. Oh wait.. is Skeletor now charge of all the media conglomerates? My bad, ixnay on the nose talk... :S


April 28, 2010, 8:42 am

have I mentioned I use identity cloaker to access Hulu?. with it you can select which country the proxy server is in, i.e. US for American content. at the moment stuck in Thailand because of the flight backlog, it makes it easier waiting being able to watch the Beeb. Gordon I would like to mention the airline which has let me down, and a few other Brits, but afraid of lawyers so will just say I had to purchase a ticket from the nice KLM to get me home.

Al 2

April 28, 2010, 12:00 pm

Not that simple. Why would C4 or the BBC pay £millions for content that people could see sooner on Hulu? The US conglomerates don't want to give away their lucrative sales to a third party or to advertisers either.


April 28, 2010, 12:50 pm

Sodding Glee? Is that the Federal Prison version of Glee, or what?

Mind you it couldn't possibly be worse.


April 28, 2010, 1:10 pm

Al has it right, folks! There's no way the original rights holders in the US will let their content go to Hulu before it has aired on UK TV the traditional way, and nor will the UK networks allow that either. The only way is to use an identity cloaker, as alcohobot says. Hope you got home, mate, and screw the lawyers, name and shame that airline!

Geoff Richards

April 28, 2010, 1:14 pm

@Al - that was my first reaction too. They have apparently failed to do deals with local British broadcasters for their content (offering an off-the-shelf iPlayer, if you like) from a platform / delivery perspective. That seems to have been their approach to the UK market.

The other angle is "what about all the content y'all own?". Hulu is a joint venture between NBC, Fox, and ABC, so can't they make their cool shows available on subscription to UK viewers?

As you point out, do they risk diminishing the value of these assets and would recoup less cash from Sky, ITV, Channels Four and Five as a result?

I guess there's also an infrastructure / support / marketing cost attached with launching, which they wouldn't do without a large catalogue of content; they perceive they need local stuff as well as US-produced content.

Shame really.


April 28, 2010, 1:33 pm

And then the IP copyright holders wonder why piracy is apparently rampant. Given the choice of waiting three years or downloading....

I think it is telling when they launch the second Matrix film it was reported that the piracy and downloading of the film was almost zero compared to other big releases.

iPlayer and 4oD are good, but I'd like to watch some stuff that isn't on there and isn't on DVD. Would the BBC and the other broadcasters like to put there back catalogue on line please.


April 28, 2010, 1:38 pm

I agree Gordon, in the same way that the TV License should be available to sell overseas to allow access to iplayer, us Brits should be able to put subscriptions to the US networks to watch their content on line. It would certainly be a compelling argument over P2P and Usergroups.


April 28, 2010, 2:52 pm

*Yawn* - wake me up when the TV Networks want to join the 21st Century.


April 28, 2010, 5:11 pm

@Simon, I agree totally and I pay for the TV licence & can't access the BBC content legally and through work + holidays I'm probably more out of the UK than in. gonna stop paying the licence & get it for free, wake up BBC!.

ps @ripsnorter the airline is based in Dubai and have many A380 aircraft and really have upset a lot of people, was a card carrying fan till now.

Jonathan 6

April 28, 2010, 5:19 pm

In defence of the broadcasters - they have done a lot recently to lower the time between a show being broadcast in the US and shown in the UK. The most torrented shows like Lost, Stargate Universe and House are bang up to date on Sky as are Glee on Channel 4 and South Park on Comedy Central. I don't download any of these any more.


April 28, 2010, 5:56 pm

@Jonathan: Yeah, I think that's the effect that piracy has had on the networks, they realised that having a huge gap between US and worldwide broadcasts was hurting them. In fact, are any major US shows now shown much later in this country?

@alchobot: Emirates. Don't worry, you're entitled to voice your beef with them :) I imagine those A380s are running a packed service right now...


April 28, 2010, 6:46 pm

@alchobot: Thanks for the recommendation. I'll try it out and check out those old Kojak episodes they have on there. However your grievance over the BBC's refusal to allow it's iPlayer service to be viewed outside the UK perhaps has more to do with the foreign networks that buy the very content that's shown on it. And most expats have satellites to receive UK terrestrial channels.


April 28, 2010, 7:37 pm

Chris - well observed; "piracy" has been good for dragging the networks into the modern world, to the benefit of many. But don't worry - our government and others are hard at work trying to put an end to this, so that their chums the big copyright holders can go back to doing whatever they want. One step forward, ten steps back...


April 28, 2010, 8:07 pm

@Chris & John - only if you have cable or sky. Sky is still doing it's predatory tactics of letting others (specifically BBC & C4) at taking risks with shows like Lost and then when it is a success it is then bought out by Sky.


April 28, 2010, 10:12 pm

Madness I say. MADNESS!

Then again, investing in a decent privacy VPN solution does allow you to watch Hulu, as well as avoiding overzealous officious rats from the Great Online Orwellian Government Liars Extraordinaire et al probing you...


April 29, 2010, 8:41 am

@ffrankmccaffery - it's bad enough lugging tools & test equipment about without having to carry a satellite dish mate, I love BBC Iplayer and want access to it worldwide as a licence player. I fall asleep watching it in HD on my laptop at home, I'm a big science fan and love Horizon et al.

@ Chris - you'd be pissed off if you could buy a ticket home on Expedia but not get through to the emirates office in Bangkok & I found out through my companies travel agent the earliest date I could fly. They've also stopped answering emails as well now, I'm lucky that I can afford to pay a high price for a single home, there are people staying in the same place as me who are livid with emirates. they could have used those A380's properly and got people home, you don't realise how many people are still stranded and being taken the piss out of by some airlines. the airlines might complain about losing money but they should also think about losing customers, I travel a lot for work & holidays and will now book accordingly.


April 29, 2010, 6:11 pm

@alchobot: So you'd rather the BBC spend many millions on a membership scheme so that a small niche such as yourself can watch science documentaries whenever and wherever they please? Are you even familiar with PVR's?


April 30, 2010, 1:43 am

@ffrank - he's not the only one. I would love to see the entire catalogue of Horizon available on the iPlayer.


April 30, 2010, 2:24 am

@Kevsta: We're talking about the availability of the iPlayer service outside of the UK and not whether the entire back catalogue of a documentary series should be available on it.


April 30, 2010, 11:31 am

@ffrankmccaffery, did I mention a membership scheme? I just want to be able to use Iplayer outside of the UK as a licence payer. I could cancel my licence and get it with an identity cloaker subscription which is considerably cheaper than the tv licence. what this whole discussion is about is the content providers should really make it easier to access content legally than using proxy servers etc to bypass the control, they need to wake up to the digital world.

also, aren't the BBC in the process of digitising their entire catalogue for access by licence payers?.

comments powered by Disqus