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Hulu, Viacom Expand Content Partnership; SpongeBob (And Nickelodeon Friends) Join Hulu Plus

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In a bid to beef up the kid-friendly credentials of its Hulu Plus online video streaming service, Nickelodeon programming is being added to the service for the first time. The move is part of an expansion of the current content partnership between Hulu and Viacom, which has seen high profile shows including  The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report made available on the free ad-supported Hulu.com service and also Hulu Plus (which now has more than two million subscribers).

Starting on October 9, Hulu Plus subscribers will be able to access five recent episodes of currently airing Nickelodeon live action and animated series 21 days after the episodes are screened on TV. Shows covered by the deal include iCarly, Big Time Rush, VICTORiOUS, How to Rock, Supah Ninjas, SpongeBob Squarepants, Kung Fu Panda, Penguins of Madagascar, Winx Club, Robot & Monster, The Legend of Korra, T.U.F.F. Puppy, and the new season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (coming soon).

Writing about the partnership on the Hulu blog, SVP of content Andy Forssell, commented on the lure of the Nickelodeon brand to the youth market and flagged up the variety of devices kids can use to get their cartoon fix via Hulu — from PCs and connected TVs to set-top boxes, video game consoles and mobile devices. “As of today, Hulu Plus is the only subscription-based on-demand Internet video provider that offers current season Nickelodeon programming,” he noted.

Over the next few months, content from Viacom’s bilingual network, Tr3s, will also be added to the Hulu Latino selection of youth-focused content on Hulu Plus — including Ninas Mal, Quiero Mis Quinces, Quiero Mi Boda and Quiero Mi Baby. There’s no change to the prior portions of the Hulu-Viacom content partnership — which brought programming from BET, COMEDY CENTRAL, MTV, SPIKE, TV Land and VH1 to Hulu Plus subscribers.

Financial terms of the expanded agreement were not disclosed.

Also today, Hulu and BBC Worldwide announced they have entered their second co-production agreement — after working together on The Thick of It earlier this year — for another comedy show: The Wrong Mans.

“Hulu has become a leading content platform where many terrific series have found a home and a significant audience in the U.S. – as has been the case with Misfits and Rev,” said Matt Forde, EVP Sales and Co-Productions, BBC Worldwide Americas, in a statement. “This deal is a fantastic example of a creative and commercial collaboration between Hulu and BBC Comedy.”