I hadn’t realized that Hulu had become the #2 online video source but it makes since considering it is sanctioned and the quality is a lot better than YouTube. With that in mind I’m not surprised to hear that Disney and Hulu are in talks for Mickey Mouse and his gang to take over a partial interest in the online provider:

Mouse insiders acknowledged that talks are underway but indicated that no deal was imminent, and they stressed that Disney has had ongoing conversations with a number of vid aggregator sites, including Hulu, about licensing ABC and Disney-produced shows for ad-supported Web streaming.

Disney was a trailblazer in offering full-length ABC shows for web-streaming online in 2006, but since then it has mostly kept its program offerings on and the websites of its affiliate stations. NBC and Fox have taken the approach of allowing their shows to be widely distribbed on the web via Hulu, while CBS has inked deals with numerous Internet distrib partners to make its content widely available for streaming.

Without a doubt if this goes through it’ll mean you’ll be able to add ABC to the short list of networks offering their shows through Hulu (along with NBC and FOX). I’m not sure if it means that Disney will also move to allow some of their films to be added to Hulu’s arsenal but it seems like a natural progression.

Interestingly, after speaking with a marketing group for NBC about Hulu I was given the impression that things aren’t all hugs and smiles between the two. “I watched an episode of so-and-so on Hulu” was corrected to, “you mean on, right?” Perhaps the ad revenue sharing isn’t up to snuff. I wasn’t given any explanation other than the direct implication of preference on NBC’s behalf.

If Disney is going for an invested share of Hulu then maybe their making sure they don’t get a raw deal themselves.

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