Hulu and CBS strike a deal for older shows

Detailed on the official Hulu blog earlier today, the streaming video company has entered into a multi-year licensing deal with CBS for approximately 2,600 episodes of older CBS shows. Launching for Hulu Plus subscribers during January 2013, a sampling of the television shows included within the deal are CSI: Miami, MediumNumb3rsStar TrekI Love Lucy and The Twilight Zone. For people without Hulu Plus, regular visitors will see these television shows rotating on the site on a regular basis. In addition to the previously mentioned shows, Hulu has already started adding clips from the CBS-owned Entertainment Tonight celebrity gossip program. 

Unfortunately, this deal does not include more recent CBS sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, dramas like The Mentalist and Person of Interest, or reality shows like Undercover Boss or The Amazing Race.

CBS is continuing to pursue a Web content strategy that requires the viewer to visit the CBS site in order to watch recent episodes of their favorite show. On average, CBS lists about three to five of the most recent episodes of select shows. However, some shows only list clips of the current season rather than providing entire episodes. In addition, CBS hasn’t released any type of application that would allow fans to watch CBS shows on mobile devices, streaming set-top boxes or video game consoles.

This isn’t the first deal that CBS has entered into with Hulu in regards to licensing streaming rights for television shows. Last year, Hulu, CBS and Warner Bros. struck a deal for streaming rights to several shows on the CW network. CBS has also been active with Netflix in regards to licensing content. Along with obtaining streaming rights to CW shows last year, CBS entered into a similar two-year deal with Netflix for classic CBS shows like the original Star Trek series, Cheers and The Andy Griffith Show. In regards to the success of these partnerships, CBS chief officer Les Moonves indicated that the network would likely expand the deal with Netflix in the future.

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