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NBC, Fox target YouTube with Hulu dance

Big media bites back

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US TV networks NBC and Fox have finally taken the dustsheets off Hulu.com, their belated response to YouTube.

The site has launched in private beta today. It'll carry free ad-supported video clips from the two networks' shows - such as The Simpsons and Heroes - as well as content from MGM and Sony. Users will be allowed to upload copyright content too.

The TV companies are hoping the YouTube brand hasn't had such a headstart that it has become more attractive to online video viewers than their programming.

Last week, NBC confirmed it had closed its official YouTube channel. It's also binned a distribution deal with Apple's iTunes.

Hulu is the second front in big media's rearguard action against internet firms, which they accuse of parasitising their work. The first is the court-bound $1bn Viacom lawsuit.

Hulu is here. We've signed up for the beta, but Hulu hasn't sent us a password yet. A full public launch is epected early next year. ®

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