Despite ever-more-conclusive evidence that syndication sales to SVOD platforms is having an dramatic, ongoing negative effect on linear channels, Turner on Thursday announced a sweeping program rights deal with Hulu.
Under the agreement, Hulu will acquire exclusive SVOD rights to current and upcoming seasons of TNT and TBS shows, such as The Last Ship. It will also get previous seasons of series on Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. All Cartoon Network shows will stream ad-free on the Hulu Kids platform.
"This deal with Hulu demonstrates the power of Turner Broadcasting's branded networks and the high demand for our programming in the marketplace," said David Levy, president of Turner Broadcasting. "This is a great opportunity to grow the reach of the networks' original programming and complements our strategy of utilizing multiple platforms--including SVOD--to drive sampling, introduce new viewers to our content and give current fans the opportunity to explore and enjoy Turner's new and existing series in a branded environment."
The announcement came only hours after media analyst Michael Nathanson released a report titled "Is Netflix Killing TV?" which is only the latest study tying increased SVOD usage to significant declines in linear network ratings, particularly for repeat programming.
"Netflix's dollars were used to buy content that had little carrying costs … which produced meaningful increases to profits," Nathanson wrote. "However, as we all know, there is no free lunch. Beginning with last summer's massive decline in ratings and usage, media executives and the Street have begun to rethink the implications of the rise in SVOD services."
- read this Turner Networks press release
- read this MoffettNathanson report (sub. req.)
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