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Hulu Fills 'Epix' Void

31 Aug, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Epix's major license deal with Hulu supplants exiting Netflix

Following quickly on the heels of Netflix’s decision not to renew a content license agreement with Epix, the multi-platform pay-TV service co-owned by Lionsgate, Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced a multiyear digital SVOD deal that will bring new releases to Hulu Plus for the first time beginning Oct. 1.

Hulu, which is co-owned by The Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast, has a mandate by Fox’s Rupert Murdoch to compete effectively against Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. The best way to do so is through compelling content.

At launch, movies such as The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, The Wolf of Wall Street, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Robocop and God’s Not Dead, among others, will available to Hulu Plus subscribers for the first time.

First-time SVOD releases The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1, Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Interstellar, Selma, Top Five and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, will become available in the coming months.

“This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming,” Craig Erwich, SVP and head of content for Hulu, said in a statement. “Our subscribers have been asking us for more, and more recent, big movies. We listened. Through this new deal we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films.”

With Hulu focusing on its own slate of original episodic programming, this deal represents a significant expansion in the service’s movie offering. Over the past year, Hulu has become the streaming home to a significant number of films from the IFC Films collection through its deal with AMC Networks, and became the first-ever streaming service to offer a premium add-on through its platform with its distribution deal with Showtime. Hulu is also the exclusive streaming home to hundreds of classic films from The Criterion Collection.

All new theatrical releases and original programming will be available during its digital streaming window, which begins 90 days after the start of the traditional pay television window.

Comedies, including Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, Anchorman 2, and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas as well as indie favorites such as In a World, All is Lost, and Much Ado About Nothing will also be available in October. 

Classic film franchises include "James Bond," "Rocky," "Star Trek," "Paranormal Activity," "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Friday the 13th." Epix Original Specials, including Katy Perry: The Prismatic World Tour, Russell Brand: Messiah Complex, P!nk: The Truth about Love Tour, and Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny also will be available.

"We are excited to be partnering with Hulu, and share their commitment to providing viewers a truly premium experience, particularly as we enter the next phase of our network’s growth and development,” Epix CEO Mark Greenberg said in a statement.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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