Hulu Signs Five-Year, In-Season Content Streaming Deal With The CW

After Netflix signed a deal with The CW Television Network, Hulu is the next online movie platform to announce an agreement with the network. Hulu has just announced a five-year licensing agreement with the CW Network, which is owned by CBS and Warner Brothers, for the rights to stream in-season episodes of The CW’s programming on Hulu Plus’ subscription service and the platform’s free, ad-supported service. Here’s Hulu’s blog post announcing the deal.

The content will be available later this year. Programming includes nine series on The CW’s Fall 2011 schedule, including new series “Ringer,” “Hart of Dixie” and “The Secret Circle,” as well as “The Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “Supernatural,” “Nikita,” “90210” and “America’s Next Top Model.” Hulu says this deal makes it the only online subscription service to carry in-season episodes of The CW’s drama and reality series.

“The CW programming is a great example of the kind of in-season content we want to make available on our service – high-quality, engaging, serialized shows that fans passionately love,” said Andy Forssell, SVP of Content for Hulu. “Making these shows available on Hulu and Hulu Plus will allow new and existing fans to get their fix of The CW’s great shows anytime and anywhere.”

The five most recent episodes of each show will be available to Hulu Plus subscribers the next day after broadcast. Users of the freeservice will be able to watch five episodes of current season programming eight days after airing on The CW.

“Our new arrangement with Hulu only affirms the incredible value of The CW’s series, as well as amplifying the immense power of the broadcast network model,” said Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW. “As we increase the amount of year round original programming on The CW, this deal provides our shows with greater exposure on a new platform, helping build even more awareness that will drive viewers back to the network and its affiliates. We see this as a win for everyone involved, the network, the stations, Hulu and ultimately, the viewers.”

Two weeks ago, The New York Times reported that Netflix, Warner Brothers and CBS announced a $1 billion deal that gave the streaming media company the rights to stream CW shows for the next eight years.

Hulu adds that with this deal, the platform will offer current season episodes from 5 of the 6 broadcast networks (ABC, The CW, FOX, NBC, and Univision) before the end of the year. Hulu just announced the Univision deal a few weeks ago. Other content providers include A&E, Bravo, Comedy Central, E Entertainment, FX, History, MTV, Spike and USA network.

Hulu was reportedly shopping itself around for an acquisition, and got offers from Google, Dish Networks, and Amazon.