Two US television networks are gearing up to launch a new online video service. The YouTube rival, named Hulu, will feature full-length streaming versions of Fox and NBC's shows as well as user-generated content (UGC).

Some of the TV shows made by the two networks include Fox's 24 starring Kiefer Sutherland, and science fiction hit Heroes on NBC. Sources say that Hulu is due to enter a private beta period this week, but after delays it will go live to some users on Monday.

YouTube set for challenge?

It's not known whether Hulu will be open to international web users. If the networks open the site up to everyone, for example, that could have ramifications on any exclusive licensing deals it might have signed with foreign TV companies.

Put it this way: the BBC probably wouldn't be too happy if NBC allowed UK users to watch the entire first season of 'Heroes' all in one go. After all, the corporation signed a multi-million pound deal to show it on BBC 2 not long ago.

Shows that will be available to watch on Hulu also include My Name is Earl, Las Vegas, Bones, The Bionic Woman and Journeyman. You can sign up to take part in the beta at the Hulu website. (Although if it's a US-only service, it won't do you any good...)