*Report by paidContent.org cites unnamed sources
*Disney says no deal reached, no comment on report
*Hulu would offer ABC TV and other Disney shows online
LOS ANGELES, March 27 The Walt Disney Co
(DIS.N) and Hulu.com have restarted talks over offering shows
from Disney's ABC television network on the online video
distributor owned by NBC Universal and News Corp (NWSA.O),
paidContent.org reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
The talks were described as "serious" by the sources and
said to center on ABC prime time shows like "Desperate
Housewives," "Lost," and "Ugly Betty." Other content from
Disney's cable networks, such as ESPN and Disney Channel, were
also being considered, the sources said.
Disney was said to be interested in an equity stake in Hulu
similar to the equal ownership stakes, of 45 percent each, held
by General Electric Co's (GE.N) NBC Universal and News Corp.
A Disney spokeswoman would not comment on the paidContent
report but cautioned that no deal had been reached with Hulu.
A Hulu spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.
Disney has long been in talks with Hulu and other Web-based
content distributors as it tries to expand viewership of the
ad-supported ABC shows offered on ABC.com and Web sites of its
local TV affiliates, on AOL.com, and Comcast Corp's (CMCSA.O)
ABC was the first major broadcast network to offer prime
time programming online, and Disney reported last month that
its Web-based video player has streamed more than 106 million
episodes since the TV viewing season began last September.
Disney also sells movies and TV episodes on Apple Inc's
Disney has said it is seeking online partners that are
"comparable and complementary" to Disney-ABC TV brands, and are
able to make "significant" commitments to marketing the shows.
Prospective partners must have a "positive" and strong
relationship with their consumers, a sound growth strategy and
be able to protect content from piracy, the company said.
A report by consumer technology researcher The Diffusion
Group underscores the growing importance of the online video
category -- finding that 83 percent of adult consumers, or more
than 110 million people, watch online video at least one a
The report finds that successful business models will
embrace an ad-supported video syndication model and that the
majority of Internet television programmers will rely on
advertising rather than subscriptions for most of their
The report forecasts that long-form videos, such as TV
shows and movies, will total 22.8 billion streams annually, or
4.1 percent of total video streams by 2013, with short-form
and user-generated video making up more than 75 percent of the
Ad revenue from long-form video is expected to outstrip the
other two categories, however, with long-form content
accounting for 69 percent of total ad-related revenue by 2013,
the report showed.
(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Gary Hill)