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BBC World News Joins Hulu — in Japan

30 Mar, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The BBC for the first time is making “BBC World News” available on a third-party subscription streaming video service. The 24-hour ad-free news service March 30 began streaming on Hulu Japan in English and Japanese.

Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney, Comcast, Time Warner and Fox, sold its Japanese unit in 2014 to Nippon TV — the country’s No. 1 television network. Hulu Japan was launched in 2011.

Hulu Japan also carries “ABC World News Tonight With David Muir,” “ABC This Week With George Stephanopoulos” and “ABC Nightline,” among other U.S. programs.

“As the world becomes more interconnected and global news events increase in regularity and relevance, we know our audiences want access to the BBC’s world-class impartial news wherever they are — at home or on the move,” Chris Davies, commercial director with BBC global news, said in a statement. “This latest deal is part of our strategy to ensure that people can stay up-to-date in more ways than ever.”

The BBC’s foray into SVOD comes as the venerable broadcaster celebrates the 10th anniversary of iPlayer — the network’s groundbreaking TV Everywhere platform.

Earlier this year, Tony Hall, director-general of the BBC, said changing market trends about TV consumption, the rise of services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, sports on Twitter and uptick in social media, necessitated new thinking.

“We have to ride two horses: doing brilliant things on our existing channels and services, but also innovating in the digital space,” Hall told staffers in a speech in Birmingham.

Citing data that suggests adults spend 8% of their media time on social media and messaging, compared with 25% among 16- to 24-year-olds, Hall said traditional TV and radio consumption among younger viewers has fallen upwards of 30%.

“Increasingly, younger audiences and older audiences are consuming media in different ways. So we have to respond,” he said.


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