Hulu announced this morning an expanded deal with the Disney-ABC Television Group which will see the streaming service gain the exclusive rights to one of Disney Junior’s top-rated shows, Doc McStuffins as well as Bunnytown, in addition to the non-exclusive rights to stream all the episodes from another Disney Junior title, Handy Manny. What’s notable about the deal is that it represents the first time Disney Junior content has been made available on Hulu’s service, the company says.
It’s not the first time that Hulu and Disney have teamed up on content, however. The two companies late last year announced an agreement which covered over 750 episodes of shows from ABC Studios and ABC Family. This gave Hulu the exclusive video-on-demand rights to ABC’s Resurrection and Mistresses, as well non-exclusive shows, including the X-Men cartoon series, Melissa & Joey, Alias, Body of Proof, Twisted, Make it or Break It, Spider-Man and Iron Man: Armored Adventures.
The new Disney Junior agreement covers multiple years, and will see the titles added to Hulu’s “Kids” section where they can stream commercial-free. Initially, subscribers will have access to the first season of Doc McStuffins, then the following seasons will be made available after the last episode of each season airs.
Hulu already has a number of children’s TV programs available on its service through similar deals. For example, it now serves as the only streaming video-on-demand service to offer current seasons of Nickelodeon content. However Nick has also newly announced its own plans to enter the streaming space with a service of its own called “Noggin,” a move which could impact future deals with its streaming competitors.
The new Disney-Hulu deal comes at a time when all of the major players are focused on expanding their kids’ programming selections, realizing the importance of having a full lineup of content for families in order to attract parents’ dollars to their respective services. In addition to Nickelodeon, both Netflix and Amazon have also recently expanded their kids’ TV programing, the former just last week with nearly half a dozen new shows, including an “Inspector Gadget” reboot. And Amazon in the same week gave the greenlight to second seasons of several of its original kids’ shows, too.
The new episodes from Disney Jr. will arrive this spring, says Hulu, but did not provide an exact date.