The 2,600 new episodes going to the streaming service in the non-exclusive arrangement will include Undercover Boss, United States Of Tara, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Ghost Whisperer, the companies just announced. Also in the package are hits from the CBS …
CBS has signed a non-exclusive content licensing agreement with Hulu Plus for Blue Bloods, the CBS TV Studios drama that earlier this week landed off-net deals with ION and WGN America. The news of an SVOD partner is the final piece of the multi-platform syndication pie for the Friday cop procedural, now in its fourth season; it’s the same model used to recently sell another CBS TV Distribution product, CBS’ Elementary. Hulu will begin offering the first four seasons of Blue Bloods beginning later this year.
Hulu Plus has acquired subscription video on demand rights for CBS’ Elementary. This is an SVOD component of the exclusive off-network rights deal announced last week by WGN America for the drama series. Under the deal, Hulu Plus has the …
2ND UPDATE 2:16 PM: The NPD Group today issued a “data clarification” about its Monday press release that said its study found that streaming services are gaining while premium cable channels are losing subscribers. A day after Showtime refuted those findings, NPD Group said it should not have called our declines for HBO and Showtime.”Upon further examination of the results,” the group said in the release, “there is data supporting the conclusion that individual subscribers are either subscribing to more channels, or adding channels over time.” Here’s the full statement: “A recent press announcement from The NPD Group that was released on Monday, January 20, 2014 (‘Cord Shaving? SVOD Subscribers Increase, as Premium TV Subscribers Decline, According to The NPD Group’) should not have called out declines in subscribers for specific premium TV channels, HBO and Showtime. The data used for the press release pertains to aggregate results for all premium TV channels and does indicate that the overall number of subscribers has declined, based on a representative sample of the U.S. population. However, upon further examination of the results, there is data supporting the conclusion that individual subscribers are either subscribing to more channels, or adding channels over time. In that case, faithful premium channel subscribers are becoming more so – which would be consistent with the subscription increases being reported by individual channels.”
UPDATED 3:14 PM Tuesday: Not so fast, Showtime says. The premium channel issued a release today saying the “NPD Group ‘study’ does not accurately reflect actual subscriber counts.” Showtime says that not only has it added 1M subs in six of the past seven years, but premium rivals HBO, Cinemax and Starz also have increased subs during that period. Here’s the full statement: “Contrary to erroneous reports published this week, Showtime and every other premium network have increased both subscribers and penetrations over the last two years. A study released by the NPD Group claimed the opposite, comparing gains made by video services like Netflix to the performance of premium cable. The study does not accurately reflect actual subscriber counts. According to SNL Kagan, from March 2012 through September 2013 – the timeframe the NPD Group allegedly measured — Showtime penetration grew from 21.1 percent to 22.8 percent; HBO penetration rose from 28.2 percent to 29.2 percent; Cinemax penetration climbed from 11.2 percent to 13.6 percent and Starz penetration jumped from 19.9 percent to 22 percent. While it is true that video services like Netflix have gained, so too have premium cable channels.”
Hulu said today during its upfront presentation in New York that it set a revenue record in the first quarter of this year with $695M, and that Hulu Plus subscriptions passed 4 million subscribers after doubling in 2012. The service now has almost 2500 TV series and about 57,000 hours of content. Among the talent on hand was Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker to promote their animated superhero series The Awesomes, one of four original series that will debut this year. Among Hulu’s four announced exclusive series is the Eva Longoria-starring animated series Mother Up!, about a disgraced former music exec who must transition to a life of suburban motherhood. Other talent working up shows are Mario Batali, Carson Daly and Jay Mohr, who is toplining the new game show Money Where Your Mouth Is. Hulu also is streaming Prospect Park’s revamped soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live, which launched yesterday and were the two most-watched TV episodes of the day. Here is Hulu’s descriptions of its new series:
I’m told that Sony is indeed sounding out cable programmers including Discovery, NBCUniversal, and News Corp to see whether they’re willing to cut deals to have their shows streamed to Sony devices such as PlayStations and Blu-ray players. The Japanese tech and entertainment giant is thinking about a model that would resemble Amazon’s with its new Kindle Fire tablet: It might cut the price of the devices, and count on subscription payments to make up the lost revenues. But nothing is imminent. And the feeling is that The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news about Sony’s plans this morning, pushed too hard on the possibility that the tech and entertainment giant might end up with a full-fledged rival to cable TV. Sony has raised the idea with programmers of offering channels live, just as they’d appear on cable. Insiders tell me, though, that there’s only a remote possibility that Sony will make much headway with that idea — except perhaps with minor networks that have few carriage deals. They consider it significant that Sony is telling programmers that it is open to creating a more conventional subscription VOD service like Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu Plus. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Samsung have also been sniffing around to see what programming they can offer via the Internet, and on what terms. Meanwhile, pay TV companies are working on TV Everywhere deals so they can stream shows to subscribers’ digital devices.
UPDATE, 12: 00 PM: No word from Starz execs about when they might announce a digital streaming deal to replace the one with Netflix, which expires in February. “There are a lot of conversations going on,” Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told analysts today. “It’s a road that needs to be evaluated almost on a weekly basis.” The company hopes to license programs from its premium channel to a premium-priced streaming service – meaning, one that charges more than Netflix. As more companies enter the online video market “they’ll begin to segment and differentiate,” says Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei. “That’s something we would embrace.” Albrecht said that “we didn’t believe it was appropriate to have our products included in a low-cost service.” Do they really expect lots of consumers to pay high prices in this weak economy — especially with the anemic numbers cable and satellite companies are posting for premium channels? At Starz the 3Q sub figure was
The agreement comes two weeks after CW cut a similar deal with Netflix. This one will provide CW programming both to the free Hulu service as well as the subscription Hulu Plus. It means that by year end, Hulu will have current-season episodes of shows from ABC, CW, Fox, NBC and Univision. Hulu SVP Andy Forssell says in a blog post that Hulu Plus will be “the only online subscription service to offer next-day access to the most recent five current primetime episodes, in HD” via broadband. Users of the free service “will be able to watch five episodes of current season programming eight days after airing.”
Wells Fargo analyst Marci Ryvicker says that the Hulu deal will generate a lot less cash for CBS — which co-owns CW with Time Warner — than it will see from Netflix. She estimates the new agreement will deliver about a penny a share annually which she says “is not financially material.” (She said CBS might see as much as 5 cents a share from Netflix.) Hulu will have fewer shows, and only five episodes at a time; Netflix has exclusive access to full seasons of shows that aren’t in season. Still, she adds, “this is another way that CW can approach breakeven and ultimately reach profitability.”
Here’s the release:
(October 28, 2011) –The CW Television Network, a joint venture of CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment, announced today a five-year licensing agreement with Hulu for the rights to stream in-season episodes of The CW’s programming on the Hulu Plus subscription service and the free, ad-supported Hulu service.
With this agreement, Hulu Plus will be the only online subscription service to carry in-season episodes of The CW’s drama and reality series, with the five most recent episodes of each show available to subscribers the next day after broadcast. Users of the free, ad-supported Hulu service will be able to watch five episodes of current season programming eight days after airing on The CW.
No word about Hulu’s effort to find a buyer. But CEO Jason Kilar offers a strong sales pitch for the company in a status report he posted online today. He says the company owned by Disney, News Corp and Comcast’s NBCUniversal is “on pace to approach half a billion in 2011 revenue.” With 875,000 customers in June paying $7.99 a month to watch streamed movies and TV shows on Hulu Plus, “we anticipate exceeding 1 million paying subscribers before the end of this summer” — a target the company originally expected to hit at year’s end. Kilar says that when ad sales are thrown in, “we proudly and profitably pay the content community approximately $8 per subscriber per month for the content offering you see today on Hulu Plus.” The CEO adds that it is able to “thrive on low margins and the unusually effective Hulu advertising service we’ve built and will continue to innovate.” About 25 million DVRs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other devices can receive streamed videos from Hulu Plus, but Kilar says that will “grow aggressively over the balance of 2011.”
Will Hulu Be Sold? Mystery Bidder Makes An Offer As Broadband Service Struggles To Compete With Netflix
Word is spreading that Hulu has received a buyout offer and is taking it seriously. The Wall Street Journal’s hearing the same thing according to a report on its web site that sources “people familiar with the matter.” Although details …
Hulu’s long-rumored paid service is now a reality as the online content hub has just launched Hulu Plus. A monthly fee of $9.99 allows subscribers to get season passes to more than 40 current series, including Glee, Modern Family, House, Saturday …