Hulu issued a press release today announcing a brand new deal with media giant 20th Century Fox Television Distribution that will see Hulu’s library grow with the addition of over 3000 episodes of hit television series. The series will be available for all Hulu subscribers, both those to their basic video-on-demand service and to the new Hulu Live TV plans.
Hulu’s statement has a partial list of the new series to be added, which include legendary classic series like M*A*S*H, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, NYPD Blue, and The Bob Newhart Show, as well as new favorites like How I Met Your Mother, The Bernie Mac Show, Bones, and Glee. Even some cult classics like Dollhouse and Elijah Wood’s surreal dark comedy Wilfred. The deal includes dozens of other titles, but Hulu so far hasn’t released a full list of which 20th Century Fox shows are coming to the streaming service.
The deal is a natural one given that Fox, the parent company of 20th Century Fox, owns a 30% stake in Hulu. Hulu has been busy signing similar content distribution agreements lately, adding a large volume of 21st Century Fox’s adult animated sitcom titles, exclusive new films and documentary series from CNN, and even some HBO original programming – just in time for Game of Thrones. Could this recent push to pick up some of the most popular titles in syndicated television be part of a new strategy to remain competitive in the dog-eat-dog streaming world?
Despite landing several critical successes with series like The Handmaid’s Tale, adding thousands of hours of new content, and launching a live TV service, Hulu still trails behind Netflix in both subscriptions and the number of hours watched each month. Could this new 20th Century Fox deal attract new subscribers? Given that most of the content is older, syndicated programs, I doubt it.