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Hulu Acquires Streaming Rights to ‘This Is Us,’ Sets NBC Authentication Pact

Variety logo Variety 5/3/2017 Cynthia Littleton
© Provided by Variety

Hulu has grabbed the streaming rights to NBC’s breakout hit drama “This Is Us,” setting a deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution and NBC that will make the show’s past and current episodes widely available across multiple platforms.

The pact will make all of the show’s first season episodes immediately available to Hulu subscribers as well as those with a pay TV subscription. An unusual component of the deal calls for Hulu to serve as the portal for allowing authenticated viewing of “This Is Us” episodes through NBC’s website and streaming apps.

The deal was announced as part of Hulu’s upfront presentation Wednesday in New York.

”Dan Fogelman’s ‘This Is Us’ is an extraordinary series that grew in viewership throughout its acclaimed first season, and we think it has the potential to expand its audience even further,” commented Fox Television Group chairmen-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “This groundbreaking deal offers unprecedented access to consumers on multiple platforms, from Hulu to the apps of our network partner NBC, creating opportunity for viewers to find, catch up and experience again every incredible episode. It’s an exciting deal which is a ‘win’ for all our companies but for fans of this fantastic television show most of all.”

The family drama produced by 20th Century Fox TV emerged as a bona fide hit for NBC across its 18-episode first season. NBC gave the show an unprecedented two-season renewal earlier this year. The parent companies of NBC and 20th Century Fox TV are partners in Hulu, along with Disney and Time Warner.

“It was important to NBC that ‘This Is Us’ be accessible to as many rabid fans as possible as it continues to grow,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “We’re extremely pleased that this combination of platforms — Hulu and the apps of both NBC and (authenticated) on-demand providers — makes all episodes available in a way that hasn’t been done before.  This deal sets a new precedent, and we’re thrilled that our partners at Fox and Hulu had the same goals in mind.”

Season one of “This Is Us” averaged 15.3 million viewers and 4.8 rating in adults 18-49 in Nielsen’s live-plus-7 ratings — an impressive achievement for a freshman show given the steady decline in live TV viewing.

“With its authentic and emotional storytelling, ‘This Is Us’ has transcended the modern broadcast television drama,” said Craig Erwich, Hulu’s senior VP and head of content. “It’s a show that clearly resonates with our viewers, and we are very happy that Hulu is its exclusive subscription video on demand home.”

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