Hulu and Viacom Inc. have announced a new content partnership that will return The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report to Hulu.com and bring many current and archival TV shows from such Viacom channels as Comedy Central, MTV, BET, VH1, Spike TV, and TV Land to the Hulu Plus subscription service. No financial terms were disclosed.
The Daily show and The Colbert Report were pulled from Hulu last year after the companies were unable to come to terms of the rights.
The new deal is important for Hulu, which has been working to reinvent itself. The streaming media site launched a subscription service last year to bolster its ad supported efforts and had been exploring a number of options for its future, including going public or possibly morphing into a kind of virtual cable service. Securing content rights would be crucial to either move.
Beginning February 2, 2011, the new agreement will make current full episodes and clips of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will be available on the free ad-supported Hulu.com service and on the Hulu Plus subscription service.
In addition, Viacom will make available to Hulu Plus subscribers a selection of current programs 21 days after their air on the linear networks. These shows include Jersey Shore, Tosh.0, Teen Mom 2, Manswers, Let's Stay Together, and Hot in Cleveland.
Hulu Plus subscribers will also get access to more than 2,000 episodes of library product, including The Chappelle Show, Reno 911, Beavis & Butthead, Real World, Punk'd, Baldwin Hills and others.
"We are very pleased to partner with Hulu in a way that recognizes the value of our strong brands and the passionate young fans who are attracted to our content," noted Philippe Dauman, President and CEO of Viacom in a statement. "The Hulu Plus service offers us the opportunity to connect with our audiences through an exciting subscription and ad supported platform that is complementary to our existing distribution arrangements. This innovative agreement allows us to benefit from the success and expansion of Hulu and we look forward to bringing our popular content to their growing audience."