Hulu attracting exclusive program deals with better terms than SVOD competition

Hulu culminated a busy shopping week, announcing a deal Friday with MGM to acquire exclusive streaming rights to FX's Emmy-winning mini-series Fargo.

The deal also includes SVOD licensing rights for seasons 1 and 2 of History Channel drama Vikings, as well as non-exclusive, multi-year streaming rights to more than 1,500 episodes of older MGM series such as Thirtysomething, Dead Like Me, Outer Limits, Flipper and Green Acres.

Announcement of the MGM deal comes just a day after Hulu touted an exclusive multi-year agreement with FX for original series including Tyrant and The Strain.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal Thursday, FX president John Landgraf said he now prefers directing FX's SVOD revenue streams to Hulu, and not only because FX's parent company, 21st Century Fox, co-owns the streaming service.

While Hulu is smaller than Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), the other two major SVOD services, it offers programmers a lucrative exclusive license fee while still having the flexibility to offer current-season episodes on pay-TV VOD and TV Everywhere platforms. Netflix says it won't offer that flexibility.

The ability to keep the network brand on the show during its SVOD window is another key attraction to Landgraf, with FX's Hulu deal including various co-marketing provisions.

"Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that we welcome the money paid by the subscription video on demand business, but we worry about the loss of association between our original programming and our brand," Landgraf told WSJ. "We want our shows associated with our brand, and we want to be able to provide a robust non-linear experience in service to our customers."

For more:
- read this Deadline Hollywood story
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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