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Hulu to air NBC premieres before TV broadcast

Hulu, a joint online venture of NBC Universal and News Corp., announced a fall lineup that includes the debut of several network television shows before they air on broadcast television.

Hulu, which was launched in March, will offer its viewers the season debuts of network television shows, including “Knight Rider,” “Lipstick Jungle,” “Chuck,” “Life,” and “30 Rock” a week before the programs are broadcast on television. The site also plans to air the premieres of several FOX programs, including “Bones” and “Prison Break,” as well as cult-comedy hit “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”

The bold move indicates that the television networks are turning to a new business model. For years, TV studios seldom put television shows on the Web. Now that they realize there is money to be made online. Indeed, studios are embracing the Web like never before.

Hulu is competing with YouTube by offering professionally made content instead of user-made material. By scheduling television premieres earlier than the broadcast, the Web site is seeking to attract advertisers desiring to promote professional content designed for large audiences on the Web.