Report: YouTube Attempting To Hijack Hulu-Disney Deal

    March 30, 2009

Late last week, we reported that the Walt Disney Company and Hulu were close to reaching a content-sharing arrangement.  It now looks like a little bit of a bidding war is occurring, though, as YouTube’s supposedly working on a Disney deal of its own. 

YouTube Logo

Staci D. Kramer wrote last night, "Disney and YouTube are in the final stages of negotiations to put clips from ESPN, ABC and other Disney assets on YouTube, according to sources familiar with the situation."

She then continued, "The two companies would share revenue, with Disney controlling the ad inventory; YouTube and Google could get some inventory to sell.  As important, YouTube would refer back to, and the other Disney sites."

So Disney’s faced with a choice: either side with Hulu‘s clean design, classy content, and comparatively small audience, or enter YouTube’s circus-like atmosphere and hope that an impending facelift works out well.  The rewards appear to be an equity stake or relatively quick payout, respectively. 

Under ordinary circumstances, it wouldn’t be too likely that Disney would go the YouTube route.  Just the same, since the recession might have execs focusing on short-term gains, it’s hard to call a winner at this stage.