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Disney to Join Hulu

Will put full episodes of its ABC TV shows on the site.

Hulu just gained another major partner.

The Walt Disney Co. said Thursday it will join NBC, Universal and Providence Equity as a joint partner of the online video site.

This now gives Hulu content from all major networks except CBS, which has its own online video outlet with TV.com.


Under terms of the deal, Disney will provide full-length episodes of its current prime-time ABC shows like “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Desperate Housewives”; current shows from its cable channel ABC Family like “Greek”; and library shows like “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” “Commander in Chief” and even  “Dancing With the Stars.”

Also included will be titles from the Walt Disney Studios and short-form content, including webisodes and sneek peaks.

The announcement came just weeks after Disney signed a deal with YouTube to run clips from ABC and ESPN. The sports channel, however, was noticeably absent in the list of programming Disney said it would supply to Hulu.

After the deal goes through, Disney will get three seats on the Hulu board: Disney CEO Bob Iger; Anne Sweeney, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group; and Kevin Mayer, executive vice president of corporate strategy and business development and technology.


“From our landmark iTunes deal to our pioneering decision to stream ad supported shows on our ABC.com player, Disney has sought to meet the constantly evolving viewing habits of our consumers, and today’s Hulu announcement is the next important step in that ongoing journey,” Iger said in a statement. “We look forward to working with Hulu to build value for our consumers, our brands and our shareholders.”

Hulu is quickly becoming a player in the online video game. In March, it slid past Yahoo to become the third-most watched internet video destination, landing just behind YouTube and MySpace, with 380 million videos, according to ComScore.