This is big news for whichever Big Media corporation ultimately buys Hulu now that bids are in for the online TV service. Until now Hulu’s content providers have been limited to mostly NBCUniversal, News Corporation, and The Walt Disney Company. CBS has long been rumored to join, but today boss Les Moonves announced he was dipping a toe into the enterprise instead of jumping in fully. Back in June, insiders told me that reports claiming holdout CBS was joining Hulu as soon as this fall on a non-exclusive basis were “overblown”. But there were talks going on between CBS with Hulu, which also has been in talks with Viacom and Time Warner for a paid subscription service. Hulu in Japan is the Company’s first international expansion but the service also has an office in Beijing:
NEW YORK and TOKYO– CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS. A and CBS) and Hulu today announced a multi-year, non-exclusive licensing agreement that will enable certain television shows from across CBS Corporation to be streamed instantly by subscribers to Hulu’s new subscription-only service in Japan.
Under this new deal, Hulu subscribers in Japan will have access to previous seasons of CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, CSI: MIAMI, CSI: NY, NCIS and The CW’s “90210,” as well as a broad range of library programming including “Numb3rs,” “Star Trek” and “TwinPeaks.”
“We’re thrilled to have CBS’s world class content be part of Hulu’s first international market and their new venture in Japan,”said Armando Nuñez, President, CBS Studios International. “This new subscription service marks yet another opportunity to deliver CBS programmingto more global viewers in a way that complements our traditional licensing business and realizes even more incremental value from our library.”
“With the launch in Japan, Hulu is focused on adding meaningfully to the entertainment choices available to Japanese consumers, while providing avaluable new channel for distribution, increased consumer reach and incremental monetization for our premium content partners,” said Johannes Larcher, SVP of International for Hulu. “The partnership with CBS is significant for the Japan service, and we are excited to bring these popular shows to Japanese entertainment fans anytime and anywhere.”
Announced today, Hulu in Japan is the Company’s first International expansion. The new service will offer subscribers unlimited instant access to premium feature films and popular television shows across connected TVs, gaming and entertainment consoles, Blu-ray players, Smartphones, tablets and PC’s, without advertising for ¥1480 per month.