Hulu snags Seinfeld, Walking Dead spin-off rights in AMC deal
Michelle Clancy | 30 April 2015
At its upfront presentation for 2015, Hulu revealed an exclusive deal with AMC Networks for The Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, plus rights to the entire back episode library of 90s hit Seinfeld.
The smash comedy will premiere in June on the over-the-top (OTT) service, after the service outpaced competing bidders including Amazon.com and Yahoo, as well as Netflix, which bowed out early.
The Wall Street Journal reported that it cost Hulu $700,000 per episode. That deal was widely watched as it's expected to cost as much as $180 million, Hulu's biggest ever.
"While Sony Pictures Television sold the distribution rights, much of that take will head to Time Warner, which owns the show's producer, Castle Rock Entertainment, and will continue to hold rerun rights on TBS," analyst Seeking Alpha noted.
The AMC deal goes beyond zombies: Seeking Alpha also said that content from AMC sister networks like IFC, Sundance TV, BBC America and We TV will be on the streaming service.
"AMC Networks has an incredible reputation and track record in producing captivating storytelling across a variety of genres for true connoisseurs of television," CEO Mike Hopkins said of the new deal. "This huge partnership guarantees that Hulu viewers will soon be able to enjoy the newest slate of premium programming from some of the top cable networks."
Hulu, which is co-owned by NBCUniversal, Disney and Fox, is said to be shaking up its market approach: it plans to consolidate its two brands, phasing out 'Hulu Plus.'