Expect even more British accents on Hulu Plus. The online subscription TV service announced today a new licensing deal with BBC Worldwide to bring 144 programs to America on Hulu Plus. The programs have already aired, but many will be new to U.S. viewers. The companies are in the third year of a partnership that has made the $7.99 per month Hulu Plus offering heavily stocked with television programs from the U.K.
Matt Forde, a BBC Worldwide sales executive, told the Wall Street Journal that American viewers are becoming more comfortable with British television and accents. “The market has evolved. Audiences just want really good TV,” he said. Some of the programs will “rotate” through Hulu’s free online service, the company said.
Hulu is also spending money to obtain more than three dozen original programs in a bid to compete with online streaming giants Netflix (NFLX) and Amazon (AMZN). On an average weeknight, Netflix viewing equals about a third of all North American Internet activity—and Hulu wants a larger piece of the growth of streaming television.
Hulu’s owners—Walt Disney (DIS), 21st Century Fox (FOX) and Comcast (CMCSA)—pulled the company from the auction block in July after perusing bids, then decided to invest $750 million in Hulu to bolster its technology and programming offerings.