Hulu Adds 'Deadliest Catch,' 'Mythbusters' in Expansive Discovery Streaming Deal

Courtesy of Discovery
'Deadliest Catch'

Discovery networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Moto Trend, Velocity and Animal Planet will also join Hulu's live TV bundle beginning in December.

Hulu is upping its unscripted inventory. 

The streamer has inked an expansive licensing deal with Discovery that will see it add the media company's programming to its live and on-demand subscription products. 

The multi-year agreement means that Hulu will now be the exclusive non-Discovery on-demand streaming home for such programs as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters and Say Yes to the Dress. All told, Hulu will have a library of some 4,000 episodes of Discovery programming. 

Discovery networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Moto Trend, Velocity and Animal Planet will also join Hulu's live TV bundle beginning in December. The conglomerate's other networks, including HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel, were already available via the $40-per-month service through a preexisting agreement with Scripps Networks, which Discovery acquired in March. Hulu reps say that the addition of the new channels will not change the current pricing on the live TV bundle, which comes packaged with access to Hulu's on-demand offering with limited advertising. 

The previous Scripps pact, which included shows such as Property Brothers and House Hunters, has been renewed, meaning that Hulu will remain the exclusive streaming home for both shows. 

In addition to the Discovery deal, Hulu has struck an on-demand licensing agreement with OWN, which is operated as a joint venture between Discovery and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo. As part of the pact, Hulu will exclusively stream all past episodes of Tyler Perry's The Haves and the Have Nots, If Loving You Is Wrong, The Paynes and Love Thy Neighbor. Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar was already available on Hulu. 

"At Discovery, we are committed to bringing our portfolio of high-quality, safe family friendly brands and content to viewers across every screen, service and device around the world," said Eric Phillips, Discovery president of affiliate distribution. "Our new agreement with Hulu affirms the strength of our brands and their value to viewers in a marketplace with an increasing array of options." 

Hulu vp content acquisition Lisa Holme and vp network partnerships Reagan Feeney added in a joint statement, "As the only streaming service offering a complete television experience, Hulu continues to strike strategic, efficient deals with top brands that bring extraordinary value to all of our subscribers. Discovery's brand is synonymous with high-quality unscripted entertainment that TV fans love, which is why we are excited to bring their entire portfolio to our platform, across all of our subscription plans."

Hulu's live TV bundle, which launched in spring 2017, has passed 800,000 subscribers to its offering of in-the-moment programming from the broadcast networks, ESPN, TNT and other channels, including add-ons like HBO and Showtime. 

Hulu, which has invested heavily in original programming including The Handmaid's Tale, Castle Rock and The Looming Tower, has been aggressive about courting exclusive on-demand programming deals to help it gain (and retain) new subscribers, which currently hover above 20 million. (Hulu is a U.S.-only product.) The company, a joint venture of Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal, has benefited from Netflix's recent focus on producing more originals, leaving many exclusive streaming TV rights — including for current hits like Atlanta and classics like ER and Seinfeld — up for grabs. But content doesn't come cheap. The streamer's owners report that its losses doubled to more than $350 million during the second quarter of the year.

Hulu offers free options to customers: On-demand programming with limited ads costs $8 per month, an ad-free plan costs $12 per month and live TV costs $40 per month.