Fox Entertainment & Hulu ink new deal for in-season streaming rights to network’s shows
After lengthy negotiations, Fox Entertainment and Hulu have closed a new multi-year deal for in-season streaming rights to the broadcast network’s primetime series. The agreement also includes an extensive multi-platform marketing partnership.
Under the pact, all Fox primetime entertainment programming – ranging from Family Guy and The Simpsons to The Cleaning Lady and new breakout drama The Accused to The Masked Singer and Next Level Chef — will continue to stream on the Disney-controlled Hulu the next day following their linear telecast. Additionally, the deal adds a new element: joint Fox and Hulu branding across all Fox marketing efforts for its programming on the network’s platforms and beyond as well as on Hulu.
Financial details have not been disclosed.
Word of the new deal comes on the heels of Fox announcing last week two-year renewals for its animated stalwarts The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers, all produced by Disney TV Studios’ 20th Television Animation. The three series are big library titles on Disney+ (The Simpsons) and Hulu (Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers), and them staying on Hulu in-season was a factor in the renewal, I hear. While the pickup negotiations were separate from the talks on the new Fox-Hulu deal, they were overarching.
The new Fox-Hulu pact ends months of uncertainty as the companies’ previous agreement was set to expire this September. As Deadline has reported, the independent network last year had started asking outside studios for flexibility to be able to sell shows to a new in-season stacking partner should the Hulu deal not get renewed. That was something WBTV — as well as other Fox suppliers — had an issue with as the move could have impacted a potential library (out-of-season) streaming sale, hindering some negotiations for new projects.
The renewal and expansion of the Fox-Hulu deal, along with the program output deal the two companies announced last February that allows Hulu to stream all out-of-season episodes of Fox-owned unscripted and scripted programs, underscores the continuing symbiotic relationship between the network and the streamer despite them not being corporately tied anymore.
Almost four years after Disney’s acquisition of Fox assets, including 20th Television/Animation and the company’s stake in Hulu, Fox remains one of 20th TV/Animation’s top network partners with such series as 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star and The Resident, and the animated The Simpsons, Family Guy, Bob’s Burgers and The Great North. Fox is paying premium licensing fees for those shows while Hulu is shelling out big bucks to keep the network’s content available for next-day streaming. (Hulu and Disney+ already have library rights to all Disney TV Studios-produced Fox shows.) Last year, NBCUniversal ended its in-season agreement with Hulu, moving those rights to its full owned streaming platform Peacock.
“Our long-standing, valued partnership with Hulu consistently generates impressive results and creates an important pathway for our scripted, unscripted and animated series to maximize viewer reach,” said Rob Wade, CEO of Fox Entertainment. “Under this new deal, Fox solidifies its longer-term streaming strategy, while harnessing the power and strength of both Hulu and Fox to better serve our audiences and bring visibility to premium content across our streaming and linear platforms.”
The Fox-owned content included in Fox-Hulu’s library deal includes unscripted flagship The Masked Singer, as well as I Can See Your Voice, Name That Tune, Domino Masters and, in association with Studio Ramsay Global, Next Level Chef and the upcoming new series, Gordon Ramsay’s Food Stars; new midseason single-camera comedy Animal Control; and animated comedies HouseBroken and the upcoming Krapopolis, from Dan Harmon, and Grimsburg, starring and executive produced by Jon Hamm, produced by Fox-owned Bento Box Entertainment.
“Continuing to be the next-day streaming home for current Fox hits, along with out-of-season episodes of well-loved Fox titles, reinforces Hulu’s unique position in the streaming space – as the only SVOD service to carry next-day series from multiple broadcast networks,” said Joe Earley, president of Hulu. “Fox has always been a great partner, but now Rob and his teams are leveling-up our relationship with their new marketing commitments, helping viewers understand where they can watch all of these shows.”
Other Fox programming includes dramas The Cleaning Lady (Warner Bros TV and Fox Entertainment), Alert: Missing Persons Unit (Sony Pictures Television and Fox Entertainment) and Accused (Sony Pictures Television and Fox Entertainment, All3Media America); comedies Call Me Kat (BBC Studios, Warner Bros. Television and Fox Entertainment) and Welcome to Flatch (Lionsgate, BBC Studios and Fox Entertainment); and unscripted series Special Forces: World’s Toughest Test (Minnow Films) and LEGO Masters (Endemol Shine North America), MasterChef and MasterChef Junior (Endemol Shine North America and One Potato Two Potato), Hell’s Kitchen (ITV Entertainment and A. Smith & Co.), Beat Shazam (Apploff Entertainment, MGM Television, BiggerStage and Shazam) and the upcoming new dating series Farmer Wants a Wife (Eureka Productions). Deadline