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News Corp., NBCU Say Hello to Hulu

NBC Universal and News Corp. have finally picked an official name for the Web video joint venture: Hulu.

In a message on, CEO Jason Kilar says the name doesn't have any significant meaning; it is simply "short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself."

The joint venture, announced in March, takes aim at Google-owned video-sharing giant YouTube. Known until now by the working title NewSite, Hulu will offer popular NBCU and News Corp. TV programs, including NBC's Heroes, Fox's 24 and FX's The Riches.

Hulu, which will also be distributing NBC and Fox programming through portal partners AOL, Comcast, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo, will begin a private beta test in October, open to a limited number of users.

Hulu spokeswoman Christina Lee says content partners for the beta test include E!, Style, Versus, Golf Channel, G4, Fuel TV, Oxygen, Sundance, TV Guide, National Geographic. 

The beta test will start small, she adds—those who submit names to the Web site may not necessarily be part of the test, though she expected it would be on a first-come, first-served basis. The actual launch date for the service will be dependent on the feedback from that test and how much tire-kicking and adjustments are necessary to the "user experience." 

Lee also says News Corp. and NBCU tapped naming firms to help come up with the name Hulu.

The new Hulu is not to be confused with the Swedish technology company, Hulu, which creates WiMAX applications for, among other things, the kind of streaming video the other Hulu plans to do.