Hulu, a Web-based video venture from NBC and News Corp., officially launches
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hulu.com, a joint venture between News Corp. and NBC Universal, plans to open its online library of ad-supported TV shows and movies to the public on Wednesday, the company announced.
Users of the service will be able to view more than 250 full-length episodes of shows such as ”The Simpsons” and ”The Office,” as well as some 100 movies, including ”The Big Lebowski” and ”Ice Age.”
Short clips from films and TV shows such as ”Napoleon Dynamite” and ”Saturday Night Live” are also available through the service, which is accessible at Hulu.com, as well as on Time Warner Inc.’s AOL site, Yahoo Inc. and other popular Web portals.
The public debut of Hulu, which has been available to a test group by invitation since October, comes as studios seek ways to make money providing ad-supported video online.
The entertainment companies behind the service have been feuding with popular online video sites such as Google Inc.’s YouTube, where unauthorized clips from shows often appear. Viacom Inc., which owns MTV and Comedy Central, is suing Google for copyright infringement.
The Hulu.com programming comes from 50 TV networks, movie studios and Web-based producers of content. Viewers of some movies and TV shows are given a choice of advertisements to watch.
NBC Universal is a unit of General Electric Co.