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Hulu pulls UK launch

US online video service Hulu has reportedly abandoned plans to launch a British version of its site after talks with local broadcasters failed.

The service, which is a joint venture between NBC Universal, News Corp and Disney, was in talks with ITV, but these have reportedly broken down as a result of the commercial broadcaster’s plans to develop its own online service, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Discussions with rival broadcasters including Channel 4 and Five also reportedly proved fruitless. Both Channel 4 and Five have signed third-party deals with SeeSaw, the online video service created by infrastructure provider Arqiva on the back of the abortive BBC-led Project Kangaroo.

A key sticking point has been Hulu’s desire to sell the advertising spots around the broadcasters’ content, a model it has successfully pursued in the US. Hulu has also had problems selling its US aggregation model in the UK market, where there are fewer major players and fewer destination sites that consumers need to visit to find programmes online.