ITV says ‘no’ to Hulu

U.K. broadcaster to focus on its own website

U.K. commercial web ITV has ruled out a deal with U.S. video-on-demand outfit Hulu.

Instead it will beef up its own online offering, ITV.com, and the net is mulling a plan to charge auds to watch premium shows such as flagship soap “Coronation Street.”

ITV chief exec Adam Crozier said: “I am not interested in working with aggregators like Hulu. We have great content and need to invest to turn ITV.com into a robust and user-friendly site.”

ITV’s previous regime, led by executive chairman Michael Grade, had explored the possibility of backing a local version of Hulu.

Crozier, speaking at the Royal Television Society’s Intl. Conference in London on Tuesday, said ITV needed to think hard about what it could charge for online content, with payments likely to bow within 18 months.

Crozier, who wants to make ITV.com widely available on other platforms, said: “We will have to learn as we go.”

At the same confab, in a pre-recorded interview, Hulu topper Jason Kilar said he still wanted to roll out Hulu internationally but declined to give details of how it will operate outside the U.S.

Crozier, in his first industry conference appearance since joining ITV in April, reiterated the broadcaster’s ambition to boost production at ITV Studios.

He said that in 2005, 65% of ITV’s shows were made by the web’s own studio compared with only 45% today. That figure dropped to a mere 17% once the web’s two big soaps, “Coronation Street” and “Emmerdale,” were excluded from ITV Studios’ productions, according to the CEO.

Crozier said the last time ITV Studios made a new hit for the web was 2006’s “Dancing on Ice.”

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