If You Have This TV Provider, Prepare to Lose These Popular Shows
Many of your favorite series are being dropped from this streamer soon.
From long-standing satellite TV providers like Dish Network and DirecTV to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, there are a plethora of options when you're looking for something to watch. But while there is now a seemingly endless assortment of offerings, it has also become harder and more expensive to get all your favorite shows in one place. Now, subscribers to one TV provider are about to lose a number of popular series thanks to a major contract ending. Read on to find out which shows are in jeopardy.
NBCUniversal is ending its contract with Hulu.
Hulu's partnership with NBCUniversal (NBCU) is coming to an end this year, an NBCU spokesperson recently told The Hollywood Reporter. According to the magazine, NBCU has chosen to terminate its content-sharing deal with the TV provider in favor of transitioning its shows to its own streaming service, Peacock. This media corporation and its parent company Comcast have been working to increase the number of paying subscribers to the NBCU streamer. By the end of 2021, there were only nine million paying Peacock subscribers out of a total of 24.5 million monthly active accounts, per The Hollywood Reporter.
On a recent earnings call, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and other executives blamed Peacock's slow subscriber growth on its lack of full access to NBCU's best and newest programing, per Nexttv. "So obviously, much of our strong NBC content, as Brian mentioned, premieres on Hulu. And over time, we'd like to bring that back to Peacock," NBCU CEO Jeff Shell said on the the call.
Hulu subscribers will lose several popular NBC shows this year as a result.
The contract is set to end this fall, according to The Hollywood Reporter. When this occurs, Hulu subscribers will no longer be able to stream new episodes of NBCU shows like Saturday Night Live, The Voice, and American Auto the day after they air in real-time. But Hulu will still be able to provide other NBCU shows, including past episodes of currently airing series like Law & Order: SVU and This Is Us, as well as older favorites like 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, and Will & Grace. NBC's live channel will also still be a part of the Hulu + Live TV service, so subscribers who pay for Hulu's cable-style bundle will be able to record NBC shows to watch later on, per TechHive.
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Hulu will only be able to offer next-day access to two major networks.
When NBC pulls its new shows from Hulu, ABC and Fox will be the only two major broadcast networks offering next-day access to their primetime programming on the streaming service, TechHive reported. According to the news outlet, CBS has long been reserving its network shows for its own Paramount+ service (and before that, CBS All Access), and the CW removed its shows from Hulu in 2016.
This is not the first time Hulu's on-demand service has lost popular shows that it had been licensing from other studios and TV networks, as TechHive notes. In Oct. 2021, Seinfeld moved from Hulu to Netflix six years after the former streamer spent nearly $160 million to secure the show's streaming rights. South Park also moved from Hulu to HBO Max in 2020, and Discovery has started to pull many of its popular shows from Hulu in favor of its streaming service, Discovery+.
Hulu is starting to push more of its original content.
Hulu hasn't produced nearly as many original series as Netflix, but Hulu is very much emphasizing that content as the NBC news breaks. "With the proliferation of streaming services entering the marketplace, we have long anticipated changes to our third-party content offering and over the past few years have increased our investment in original content, including popular and award-nominated titles like Only Murders in the Building, Dopesick, Reservation Dogs, How I Met Your Father, and the Academy Award-nominated Summer of Soul," a Hulu spokesperson told Nexttv in a statement.
Hulu is owned by The Walt Disney Company. After NBC's departure, the streamer will need to rely on its original content, its cable shows from FX (which is owned by Disney), its network shows from Fox and ABC (the latter which is also owned by Disney), and whatever remains of its licensing deals, per TechHive.
"As a leading destination for breakthrough storytelling, we continue to transform Hulu into an exclusive home for stories from across The Walt Disney Company and beyond to bring our viewers even more premium content led by Hulu Originals and next-day television programming," the Hulu spokesperson further added.