Hulu eyes France, Germany, Japan and UK launches

Hulu, the online video platform operated by NBC Universal and News Corp, is eyeing its first international launches, in the UK, France, Germany and Japan, according to NBC Universal International president Pete Smith.

The operators of the service, which is currently enjoying massive success in the United States, have previously announced their intentions to launch the site internationally, but this is the first time specific countries have been targeted.

"We would love to get Hulu international distribution and we are engaged in conversations in the UK, France, Germany and Japan, which have 60 to 80% of online video penetration," Smith told the audience at the European Media Leaders Summit in London.

US studio NBC Universal is also in talks to acquire a Russian production company as it ramps up its international expansion plans. Smith said: "We’re acquiring a fledgling production in Russia. It’s smaller than Carnival Films [the UK indie it acquired earlier this year] but it is an established business."

NBC Universal already produces a local version of its hit crime drama Law and Order in association with local producer Studio 2V and Russian broadcaster NTV.