Hulu will expand its library in October as part of a new deal with cable network Epix.
The news comes just hours after streaming giant Netflix announced that it has decided against renewing its agreement in the U.S. with Epix.
Hulu, the Santa Monica-based streaming service that launched in 2007 and is co-owned by Comcast’s NBCUniversal, has a library of current and back-season shows from ABC, Comedy Central, the CW, FOX, NBC, MTV and Univision. It also has a lineup of original programming, including “Casual,” “The Hotwives of Las Vegas,” “The Awesomes,” “RocketJump: The Show” and “Difficult People.”
In the last year, Hulu has become the streaming home to some films from the IFC Films collection through its deal with AMC Networks. It also became the first streaming service to offer a premium add-on through its platform with its distribution deal with Showtime.
Epix, a movie and original programming entertainment service, delivers releases from Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Paramount. It is available in more than 50 million homes nationwide.
The deal allows Hulu, whose basic subscription is $7.99 a month, to keep the flow of content going for its nearly 9 million paying subscribers.
For Epix, the deal is an opportunity to attract more consumers who are wary of paying more than $100 for a package of cable channels. An estimated 29% of adults watched Internet-delivered video weekly via a connected TV last year, up from 5% in 2010, according to consulting firm Leichtman Research Group.
Terms of the multiyear, non-exclusive deal were not disclosed. However, Hulu said it will roll out new hit titles, library films and original programming from Epix -- including blockbusters such as “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1" and comedies such as “Anchorman 2" -- through each year of the deal.
“Hulu already offers some of the best and biggest titles in television programming, but our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies,” Craig Erwich, Hulu’s head of content, said in a statement. "We listened. Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films.”
Mark Greenberg, president and chief executive of Epix, echoed Erwich.
“Hulu has become one of the most popular premium streaming services and Epix’s agreement is evidence of their understanding of the value that our blockbuster Hollywood films, deep library of classic film titles and original programming brings to consumers,” he said in a statement.
Staff writer Yvonne Villarreal contributed to this report.
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