Bloomberg News

Hulu Signs Multiyear Agreement to Carry Univision Programs

October 05, 2011

(Updates with CEO comments starting in fourth paragraph.)

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Hulu LLC, the online TV service, reached a multiyear agreement to offer Spanish language shows from Univision Communications Inc., boosting its appeal to a potential audience of 50 million U.S. Hispanics.

Starting later this year, Hulu will provide current season prime-time programming from Univision, the largest Spanish language network in the U.S., as well as shows from the broadcaster’s library, the companies said today in a statement.

Univision gives Los Angeles-based Hulu programs from four of the five most-watched U.S. TV networks, including co-owners Fox, ABC and NBC. Univision draws a young, fast-growing part of the U.S. population that appeals to Hulu advertisers, said Andy Forssell, who heads content acquisition at Hulu.

“This is a great fit for Hulu and our product vision,” Jason Kilar, Hulu’s chief executive officer, said on the company’s website. “Univision has done an incredible job creating content that appeals to the Hispanic digital generation.”

Univision will help online advertisers reach a U.S. Hispanic community that’s growing faster than the U.S. population, Hulu said on its website. The agreement adds hundreds of hours of Spanish language soaps, variety shows, comedies and reality series.

Hulu’s new Japan service that started Sept. 1 is receiving encouraging response from users and suppliers, which include CBS Corp.’s TV network and Miramax films, Kilar said on the company’s website.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus, a $7.99-a-month service with greater access to content and the ability to watch on mobile devices, exceeded 1 million subscribers during the summer, Kilar said.

“We anticipate our subscription services to account for more than half of Hulu’s overall revenues within the next 12 months,” Kilar said, without elaborating.

Hulu is owned by ABC parent Walt Disney Co., Fox parent News Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal, as well as the private-equity firm Providence Equity Partners. The owners are weighing offers for Hulu from bidders including Dish Network Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc., people said earlier.

Univision, based in New York, was taken private in 2007 by investors including Providence Equity Partners. Mexico City- based Grupo Televisa SA, is a major source of Univision programming, and agreed last year to buy as much as 35 percent of the company.

--Editors: Rob Golum, John Lear

To contact the reporter on this story: Andy Fixmer in Los Angeles at afixmer@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net


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