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Hulu abandons UK plans

Talks with broadcasters breakdown

Online TV-on-demand service Hulu has abandoned plans to launch in the UK, afters talks with UK broadcasters collapsed.

The service, which is co-owned by News Corp, NBC Universal and Disney, allows web users to watch TV shows, which feature a number of adverts, for free on the web.

Hulu had been in talks with some the UK's major broadcasters, including ITV, Channel4 and Five for almost a year.

However, according to The Telegraph, a senior TV executive close to the negotiations said: "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".

Ben McOwen Wilson, ITV's director of online and interactive, told The Telegraph the while Hulu had been a success in the US, the UK TV market is different.

"It [the UK TV market] is much more consolidated, which means there are fewer online locations than in the US, which users need to visit to get access to their favourite content – therefore there is less need for aggregators,"

A source close to Hulu, claimed the service "has definitely had to postpone its UK expansion plans, which the team are disappointed by".

"Hulu has been forced to walk away. But 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."

Hulu did not want to comment on the story.

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