NBC, Fox target YouTube with Hulu dance

Big media bites back

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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