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Hulu Re-Ups Content Deal With Sony Pictures

9 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Hulu Jan. 9 announced a new multiyear agreement with Sony Pictures that brings series such as “The Shield,” “Dawson’s Creek,” “Party of Five” and catalog movies Jerry Maguire, Midnight in Paris and My Best Friend’s Wedding, among others, to Hulu Plus over the coming years.

Hulu, which has a mandate by corporate co-owner 21st Century Fox to up its competitiveness with Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video, at the Winter Television Critics Association press tour presented panels for original drama series “11.22.63,” with James Franco; “Chance,” starring Hugh Laurie (“House”), and “The Path,” with Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”) and Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”). It also unveiled details around upcoming original series “Shut Eye,” starring Jeffrey Donovan (Fargo, Sicario, “Burn Notice”).

As part of the renewal, Hulu made all episodes of former ABC TV series “Happy Endings,” with Elisha Cuthbert and Eliza Coupe, available to its base of 10 million subscribers.

Hulu in 2015 significantly increased content spending, securing exclusive rights to "Seinfeld” and “The Simpsons,” among other series. The service also bowed “no commercial” and “limited commercial” subscription plans.

This past December, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes upped speculation on a possible fiscal stake in Hulu — provided the over-the-top video platform could meld the pay-TV ecosystem with an on-demand consumer.

Time Warner, which owns Warner Bros., HBO and Turner, has heretofore focused digital efforts on TV Everywhere platforms. Last summer, it launched HBO Now, the premium channel’s inaugural SVOD service.

“Hulu could be part of the solution because it’s [already] out there,” Bewkes told attendees last year at UBS's 43rd Annual Global Media and Communications Conference in New York, while refusing to comment directly on investment in the service or press reports “about us on that.”

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