By Sahil Patel
Japan’s top television network is looking to get into the SVOD business, and has agreed to buy Hulu Japan to make it happen.
Nippon TV, which has been the №1-ranked network in Japan for the past three years, will acquire Hulu Japan, which was launched by US-based video service in September 2011. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though it’s expected to close in early spring.
This doesn’t mean the Hulu brand is going away in Japan, though. As part of the acquisition, the two companies will entering into a separate agreement under which Hulu will license out its brand and technology to a subsidiary of Nippon TV. Hulu will also provide various other “support services” to make it possible for Nippon TV to maintain the SVOD service under the Hulu brand name.
Under new ownership, Hulu in Japan will continue to offer film and TV shows from the US and Japan. Additionally, Nippon TV plans to launch its own popular shows and original content on the service.
Since Hulu launched its Japan business, the service has grown to 50 content partners and a library of more than 13,000 TV episodes and movies.