It’s Official: Disney Is Joining Hulu

As we’ve been expecting, Disney said today that it will become the fourth equity owner of Hulu and provide its programming to the premium content portal. Disney joins NBC Universal, News Corp. and Providence Equity Partners as a partner in the joint venture.

From the press release:

Following the closing, content available to Hulu users will include:

  • Full-length episodes of ABC primetime programs like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Ugly Betty, Samantha Who?, Scrubs, Private Practice and popular late night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live
  • Full-length episodes of hit ABC Family series like The Secret Life of the American Teenager and Greek
  • Popular series from ABC Daytime and SOAPnet like General Hospital and The View
  • Classic series from ABC’s library like Hope and Faith, Less Than Perfect, Commander in Chief, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Dancing with the Stars
  • Select hit programs from Disney Channel like Wizards of Waverly Place and Phineas and Ferb which can be easily accessed from a new DISNEY location in the Channel section of Hulu.com
  • Popular library titles from The Walt Disney Studios
  • Short-form content including webisodes, sneak peeks and episode recaps from ABC Entertainment, ABC Family and SOAPnet

The announcement just says content will be streaming on Hulu “soon.”

The deal remains subject to closing conditions like a regulatory review. Once it’s given the green light, in addition to this raft of new content for Hulu, Disney will get three seats on Hulu’s board.

UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports that Disney will get a 30 percent stake in Hulu close to what the other two media company partners have, while paidContent pegs the number at 27 percent (allowing room for Hulu employee shares). Disney will also invest capital and marketing money similar to what NBC and News Corp. provided.

PaidContent reports that with the inclusion of Disney, Hulu’s exclusivity with NBC and FOX will be extended for another two years.

More thoughts on what this deal means to come. Update: Liz thinks the deal is good for Hulu, and breaks down what it means for other players. Chris is not so sure, and thinks Disney may be a tough new master.

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