The BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, has become the first British distributor to license content to online TV service Hulu in Japan.
The multi-year agreement will see around 600 hours of BBC Worldwide programming made available on the platform from today, though more programming will be added.
Yesterday, we reported that Hulu Plus, the company’s monthly subscription service, was arriving on Nintendo Wii, with the much-mooted 3DS release pushed back to later this year. Hulu’s video-on-demand (VOD) services are available across Blu-ray players, televisions (network-enabled smart TVs), smartphones, tablets and games consoles, among other platforms such as TiVo and Roku.
This latest deal represents the largest volume of BBC Worldwide content on any platform in Japan, with titles licensed across multiple genres including drama, comedy, music, lifestyle, natural history, science and history. Fans of the likes of Doctor Who, Little Britain, Walking with Dinosaurs, Top Gear and Life, will be able to access it through Hulu in Japan from today.
“We’re excited to be expanding our business in the Japanese digital sector by becoming the first British distributor to partner with Hulu in Japan,” said Joyce Yeung, General Manager and Senior Vice President for BBC Worldwide Sales & Distribution Asia. “Hulu’s versatile service opens up a new audience for our catalogue, which covers everything from entertainment formats and international drama productions, to cutting-edge science documentaries and world-renowned natural history titles.”
Founded in 2007, Hulu is a US-based online TV service for premium content from around the world, and its ownership is shared between Hulu, NBCUniversal, NewsCorporation, The Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners. Hulu Japan launched in September 2011, marking the first expansion of Hulu outside of the US.
“Our goal is to bring Japanese entertainment fans unlimited streaming access to the world’s premium content whenever and wherever they want to watch. The BBC is home to some of the most premium content on the planet, and we are thrilled to make these programmes available to Hulu subscribers,” added Kazufumi Nagasawa, Head of Content Acquisition for Hulu in Japan.