Hulu has just sold and licensed its Japanese operations to Nippon TV, a leading Japanese television network. The deal was struck late Thursday night and authorizes Nippon TV to use and operate Hulu's brand name and streaming services.
Three years ago, Hulu was the first to bring subscription online streaming services to Japan—well ahead of key rivals like Amazon and Netflix. While the selloff sounds like bad news, Japanese Hulu subscribers shouldn't fret: They can expect the same local and imported American TV shows and movies as before, but with the addition of brand-new content from Nippon TV itself.
Just last October, Hulu appointed a new CEO—Mike Hopkins—and finished 2013 on a financial high-note. Other than remarking in a blog post that the move to sell Japanese operations is considered "the best path forward," Hopkins offered nothing further to say about the overseas withdrawal. The deal is set to close by spring.