A new distribution deal was reached between Disney’s Hulu and ViacomCBS. According to Deadline, Hulu+’s Live TV component struck a new agreement that expanded its ViacomCBS content. As the fifth-largest U.S. pay-TV provider, Hulu currently carries several of ViacomCBS’ IPs including local CBS stations, Pop TV, CBS Sports Network, the Smithsonian Channel, The CW, and Showtime’s paid-streaming service.
“We are excited to have reached an expanded agreement with Hulu that underscores the value of our powerful portfolio of brands to next-generation TV platforms and viewers,” Ray Hopkins, President, U.S. Networks Distribution, ViacomCBS said via Deadline. “Hulu continues to be a great partner, and this agreement ensures that Hulu + Live TV subscribers are now able to enjoy the full breadth of our leading content across news, sports, and entertainment for the first time,” Hopkins said via Deadline.
With the new deal, ViacomCBS adds an enormous amount of content from its various properties, according to Deadline. These properties include Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, TV Land, TeenNick, Paramount Network, VH1, CMT, BET, BET Her, MTV, MTV 2, and MTV Classic. As of November, Hulu had a recorded 4.1 million subscribers, making it the lead among paid live-TV services. Google’s YouTube TV and Sling TV follow.
According to Deadline, CBS and Viacom merged in 2018 and have since signed deals with various streaming platforms and services. This distrubtion strategy was a focal point of then-Viacom CEO Bob Bakish. Like many of its coutnerparts, ViacomCBS is focusing its energies in the streaming space as viewership and ratings for traditional linear TV continue to decline. Less viewership places added pressure for major networks to supply adeaqute ad revenue. The network plans a push to rebrand itself with Paramount+, a renovated version of the streaming service formerly called CBS All Access. In addition to its next-day airing of CBS series and catalog of older shows, the network will helm the plentiful libraries of the various networks under both umbrellas.