Nippon TV set to acquire Hulu

Business News & Views - March 3rd, 2014
hulu-in-japan

Leading online video site Hulu has decided to sell its Japanese subscription service to Nippon Television Network Corporation in an acquisition that is expected to close in early spring.

Once the deal closes, Nippon TV will take over day-to-day operations and management of the website with Hulu, continuing to provide some services. This also marks Nippon TV’s foray into the SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) business.

“We have now reached a point in the growth of the business in Japan where we felt the best path forward is to sell the company to a strategic buyer,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins wrote in a blog post announcing the divestiture of one of the company’s most ambitious projects less than three years after its Japanese launch.

“From the beginning of our conversations, it was clear that Nippon TV understands the value of the first-of-its kind service the Hulu team has built in Japan,” Hopkins wrote.

“I know that Nippon TV will be able to take Hulu in Japan to the next level.”

Through the deal, Nippon TV said it will be able to offer another great option amid a rapidly changing trend in the way the Japanese consume online content.

“In addition to terrestrial broadcasting and BS/CS broadcasting, Nippon TV is looking forward to succeeding Hulu’s business as a new path to deliver content through the Internet,” said Nippon TV Yoshio Okubo.

“Hulu’s sophisticated brand, wide content line-up, and its outstanding technology are very attractive. We feel a big potential in the brand and service Hulu has created.”

Hulu’s subscription service in Japan boasts content from 50 partners, with access to more than 1,000 feature films and more than 12,000 episodes of TV shows and anime.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: kengo/Flickr