Popular US based Internet TV service Hulu look to have abandoned plans to launch an on-demand TV service in the UK according to senior broadcasting executives. Hulu, a joint venture between NBC, Fox and ABC had originally planned to launch in September 2009 in the UK and Ireland, but this was delayed due to negotiations over securing content from UK broadcasters. With ownership based in the US media, there was a chance for the service to bring in content direct from the US which could have differentiated them from existing on-demand TV in the UK (such as iPlayer and 4oD).
"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. 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."Senior TV Executive
Hulu perhaps missed the boat when Channel 4 and Five signed deals with Youtube to show content on their website. A gap in the market does still exist though as what people really need is the ability to view content on their TV, rather than having to sit in front of a computer to watch their favourite shows. Project Canvas does aim to make a dent in to this by providing an open standards based platform which will allow content from the 'net to make it to TV's but content providers will need to work toward getting their service compatible with the platform when it is available.