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Media: Online Video Newlyweds

The unlikely marriage of General Electric’s NBC Universal and News Corp.’s Fox is official. The wedded name: Hulu.com. The online-video site is expected to provide free episodes of 90 NBC and Fox shows. The site is also offering a few movies, such as Sideways, and a cool feature that allows users to embed full or edited clips of shows into blogs or e-mail them to friends.

The unlikely marriage of General Electric’s NBC Universal and News Corp.’s Fox is official.

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The wedded name: Hulu.com. The online-video site is expected to provide free episodes of 90 NBC and Fox shows. The site is also offering a few movies, such as Sideways, and a cool feature that allows users to embed full or edited clips of shows into blogs or e-mail them to friends.

Some critics have charged that Hulu.com’s arrival in the online-video world comes too late to pose a threat to Google’s YouTube. I, for one, don’t see that as a feasible or necessary goal. I don’t go to YouTube to watch a TV series; I go to see the clips of an old college buddy doing stand-up in a Chicago comedy club or to watch random user-generated content passed along by friends.

If Hulu.com continues to grow its free offerings of both new and old shows, it could attract legions of fans of the specific programs. It doesn’t have to be YouTube. But it does have to turn a profit.

One interesting take is that Hulu.com poses more of a threat to cable companies than YouTube. It’s something to watch if Hulu takes off.

Either way, I just signed up. Doesn’t hurt to give it a shot.

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