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Hulu set to double content spend

Hulu has ordered a second season of The Handmaid’s Tale, launched its live TV streaming service in the US and aims to double its investment in originals and exclusively licensed content.

Mike Hopkins

During the company’s Upfront presentation yesterday, CEO Mike Hopkins said that its move into live TV would also see it double its investment in original programming and exclusively licensed content.

A joint venture between The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast and Time Warner, Hulu has been securing deals with major networks over the past year to include them in its live TV streaming service.

A beta version of the service launched yesterday, offering subscribers access to channels from 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corp, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive for US$39.99 per month.

“As we add live sports, news and entertainment and introduce a more intuitive Hulu, we want to redefine the way people experience TV,” said Hopkins.

“By bringing together thousands of live, on-demand and library shows and movies – and serving them up in a uniquely personalised way – Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television. It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu,” added Hopkins.

Meanwhile, Hulu’s renewal of The Handmaid’s Tale came as it claimed the drama has been watched by more subscribers than any other series premiere, original or acquired, on the service.

The series, produced by MGM Television, is based on the best-selling dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood and is set in a totalitarian version of the former US.

Hulu claims The Handmaids Tale was its most-watched original drama

Elsewhere, Hulu has placed its first series order with Marvel Television for Runaways, which will be overseen by the team behind The OC and Gossip Girl, Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage.

The series follows six diverse teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe: their parents. It will premiere on Hulu later this year.

The streamer has also partnered with Channel 4 in the UK on The First, about a manned mission to Mars from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon.

Hulu also announced during its Upfront that it will be the exclusive subscription streaming home to FX’s comedy series Atlanta as part of its multi-year output agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, first announced in December 2014.

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