Hulu Originals Aiming for TV—Overseas

Video hub strikes deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises to distribute globally

Hulu’s Web audience is primarily limited to the U.S. But as the Web video joint venture pushes further into original programming, it wants to get in on the global distribution action the has been so lucrative for many in the TV business.

To that end, Hulu has inked a global first-look deal with FremantleMedia Enterprises, a first for the Web video hub. FremantleMedia will get first crack at selling Hulu originals in markets across the world, on TV and on the Web.

The FremantleMedia/Hulu pact kicks off with the original documentary series A Day In The Life. Fremantle will seek to find new global outlets for the Morgan Spurlock-produced series, which chronicles 24 hours in the life of ultra-famous names, such as Sir Richard Branson.

Ordinarily, Hulu’s content is geo-blocked, meaning that Web users residing outside the U.S. can view videos on the site, minus some occasional programming stunts.

But with Hulu increasingly moving beyond relying on network TV hits toward buiding a roster of its own originals, there’s a desire at the company to move beyond content rights borders. “We are always aiming for our originals to be as good as TV,’” said Andy Forssell, Hulu’s svp of content. “Our goal is create be-loved content, not be-liked.” So why not get such top shelf content on TV in places where Hulu isn’t available?