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Google's New Foe: Hulu

News Corp. (NWS) and General Electric (GE) planted a flag in cyberspace Wednesday in their bid to steal YouTube's thunder with a rival video site, now called Hulu.

Having announced the partnership in March, the media giants have finally put a homepage up on the Web, though no videos are available yet.

The page encourages viewers to enter their email address in order to participate in the Web site's private beta test, which will take place in October.

Also, it links to a message from the site's CEO, former Amazon (AMZN) exec Jason Kilar, who joined the site in June.

"Why Hulu?" asks Kilar, referring to the site's name. "Objectively, Hulu is short, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and rhymes with itself. Subjectively, Hulu strikes us as an inherently fun name, one that captures the spirit of the service we're building. Our hope is that Hulu will embody our (admittedly ambitious) never-ending mission, which is to help you find and enjoy the world's premier content when, where and how you want it."

Hulu also sounds uncannily similar to the name of YouTube's omnipresent owner, Google (GOOG), which has found its way into the lexicon of the English language amid the company's spectacular rise as the Web search engine of choice for the masses.

Kilar also said Hulu would soon be offering programming through its distribution partners, Time Warner's (TWX) AOL, Comcast (CMCSA), Microsoft's (MSFT) MSN, News Corp.'s MySpace and Yahoo! (YHOO).

Viacom (VIAB) is one media titan that is not participating in the partnership. It's fighting YouTube's dominance with a lawsuit over copyright issues.

Hulu is expected to show full episodes of smash hit TV shows from News Corp.'s Fox network, like 24 and American Idol, as well as those from GE's NBC, like Heroes and Saturday Night Live.

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