Longtime SVOD holdout Discovery Communications caves to Hulu

Discovery Communications announced its first-ever distribution agreement with Hulu Tuesday, putting popular cable reality series including Mythbusters, Say Yes to the Dress and Deadliest Catch on the SVOD service.

The agreement is notable for one of the most prolific programmers on basic cable. While conglomerates including Viacom have actively festooned their shows across subscription-video-on-demand platforms, programs like Deadliest Catch have, in digital terms, been largely confined to transactional services, with Discovery mindful of its bargaining position in affiliate agreement talks with pay-TV operators.

However, facing a declining ad market and uncertainty about the long term future of the pay-TV business, Discovery can no longer let SVOD licensing money stay on the table. 

Starting Jan. 1, however, users of Hulu and subscription-based Hulu Plus will be able to stream Discovery series including The Little Couple, Treehouse Masters and How It's Made.

"Hulu's offering is as compelling for viewers as it is for programming partners, with a rich, brand-friendly environment to showcase both the strong lineup of Discovery content available on Hulu, as well as our world-class linear TV brands," said Rebecca Glashow, Discovery's senior VP of digital distribution and partnerships.

"As we expand our offering of premium content, we look for compelling titles that will appeal to our broad audience," added Craig Erwich, senior VP and head of content for Hulu. "This new agreement with Discovery Communications enhances our catalog of high-quality programming in a variety of genres, including some of the most popular unscripted series on television today."

For more:
- read this Discovery Communications press release
- read this Hollywood Reporter story
- read this Deadline Hollywood story

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