Hulu to offer lulu of a video selection

Site created by NBC Universal and News Corp. to debut Wednesday with shows from more than 50 TV networks, cable stations, and movie studios.

Greg Sandoval Former Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Greg Sandoval

Hulu is finally ready to make a public debut.

The Internet video site created by NBC Universal and News Corp. is officially launching on Wednesday. Up to now the site has been accessible to people on an invitation-only basis. Here's one surprise: the Hulu honchos didn't come up with a better name.

Nonetheless, the site that began five months ago with a meager menu of content is now offering a far wider selection of movies, current hit TV shows, as well as some syndication favorites.

Among the feature films are The Usual Suspects, Requiem for a Dream, and Ice Age. Some of the TV shows that Hulu will offer include Dirt, The Incredible Hulk, Babylon 5, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Welcome Back Kotter and The Dick Van Dyke Show.

Hulu will also offer NBA and NHL highlights and archived footage from past NCAA championship basketball games.

While recent studies shows strong consumer interest in long-form online video, Hulu will become the most ambitious test yet of whether the public is interested in watching full-length movies and TV shows on the Internet.

The company is not going into this alone. Hulu said in a statement that it will offer free videos from more than 50 top broadcast and cable networks, movie studios and Web content providers when it launches.