By Sahil Patel
Shomi, an SVOD service in Canada from Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications that’s looking to compete with Netflix, has struck a licensing deal with BBC Worldwide North America to offer select shows exclusively to its subscribers.
Under the pact, two BBC series that Shomi has nabbed exclusive rights to in Canada — “Moone Boy” from writer-actor Chris O’Dowd and “The Wrong Mans” from writer-actors Mathew Baynton and James Corden — are available on Hulu in the US. “The Wrong Mans” is co-production between BBC Worldwide Americas and Hulu, which premiered it as an original series in the US one year ago.
Hulu doesn’t operate outside of the US*, so “The Wrong Mans” is only considered a “Hulu original” here. In the UK, the show is associated with BBC.
Also available on Shomi thanks to this deal, “A Young Doctor’s Notebook & Other Stories,” which stars Daniel Radcliffe and Jon Hamm, as well as previous seasons of “A Bit of Fry & Laurie,” “Doctor Who,” and “Top Gear.”
Beginning the first week of November, Shomi will be available in beta to Rogers and Shaw internet or TV customers for $8.99 per month. Like Netflix, it will be available across a slew of digital devices. And like Netflix, it’s trying to build a compelling library of movie and TV shows to convince people to subscribe.
That said, Netflix and Shomi are also partners. The two are collaborating on “Between,” a “survivalist thriller” series set to star Jennette McCurdy of Nickelodeon’s now-canceled hit series “Sam & Cat.” Shomi will stream the series exclusively in Canada, Netflix will do the same in every other territory it operates in.
* Hulu sold its Hulu Japan extension to Nippon TV earlier this year.