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Battlebots, Shark Week to Hulu: streaming service lands five Discovery networks

Contributed by
Sep 12, 2018

Could we finally stream Shark Week? Could Shark Week now be...every week? Thanks to Hulu, the fantasy of Step Brothers may come true, as the streaming service has locked down the Jaws-esque marathon’s network, the Discovery Channel, as well as four more of its sister networks in a multi-year deal in order to add past episodes as well as live-streamed broadcasts to their plan.

According to Variety, Hulu landed Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Motor Trend, and Animal Planet after being in talks since before May of 2017. It’s already got HGTV, Food Network, and Travel Channel under its purview — which are shows now owned by Discovery thanks to its purchase of Scripps Networks Interactive — so adding past episodes of MythBusters (which now airs its new seasons on the Science Channel), as well as new episodes of genre content like the warring mechs of BattleBots, will be a boon for nerds raised on traditional TV.

Cutting the cord looks more and more lucrative as more traditional networks make these kinds of deals — especially ones whose content skews towards an older audience, like Investigation Discovery’s dozens of true-crime mystery shows. Almost 4,000 Discovery-owned episodes will be added to Hulu, nabbing exclusive streaming rights to tons of favorites without jacking up the price on its users.

Hulu may not yet include the AMC Networks or Viacom channels...but if this deal (and the licensing deal with OWN to grab their most popular shows’ streaming rights as well) makes anything clear, it’s that the streaming service smells traditional TV’s blood in the water. And with their track record of acquisitions, every week looks like Shark Week.

Hulu is partially owned by Comcast/NBCUniversal.

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