Hulu checks out WBTV library


UPDATED 1:10 p.m. PT Nov. 11, 2007

"Friends" could soon be buddying up to Hulu.

Warner Bros. Television is in active negotiations with the News Corp.-NBC joint venture to make a slew of WBTV content available on Hulu, executives said.

"It's more likely than not that we're going to make a deal," WBTV Group president Bruce Rosenblum said.

Much of the content probably would come from the studio's library, an area in which it controls far more rights, though some newer shows also could make their way on to the site.

WBTV has a deep well of television content; it owns rights to shows ranging from "Full House" to "Dallas" to "Gilmore Girls."

A Hulu rep did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Rosenblum, speaking Friday at the Future of Television Conference in New York, said the move fits with the studio's online syndication efforts, which also would include Joost and a host of other online distributors.

Hulu offers a host of shows from NBC and Fox as well as movies from such studios as MGM and Sony. Television studios unaffiliated with NBC and Fox don't comprise a major part of Hulu offerings, though individual shingles like Reveille have made shows available.

Rosenblum was at the conference to give a keynote about the changes to the business and consumption of television. He also weighed in on the strike, telling attendees that he was concerned about its collateral damage.

"It impacts a lot of innocent people who aren't part of the dispute," he said. "You're seeing a lot of assistants laid off, and a lot of people who work on productions will be laid off, too."