Hulu, looking to cater to the 6-and-under set — or, more accurately, their parents — inked a deal with Disney-ABC Television Group giving the Internet-streaming service exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to Disney Junior’s acclaimed animated series “Doc McStuffins.”
Also covered under the multiyear agreement are exclusive SVOD rights to the cabler’s “Bunnytown” series, as well as non-exclusive rights to all episodes of “Handy Manny.”
The deal underscores the importance of kidvids in the SVOD space, as both Netflix and Amazon have boosted their original and exclusive kids’ programming recently. Each of the three titles will be made available to stream commercial-free within the Hulu Kids section.
Meanwhile, Disney has an exclusive deal with Netflix that’s far more expansive — although the Hulu pact shows the Mouse House is willing to cut exclusives with others. Netflix, under the December 2012 pact with Disney, has exclusive access to new and catalog titles during the pay-TV window in the U.S. starting with the studio’s 2016 theatrical releases. In addition, Disney’s Marvel is producing four street-hero series (culminating in a miniseries), which include “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage.”
Hulu’s deal for “Doc McStuffins,” currently in its third season on Disney Junior, is designed to preserve a pay-TV window for the kids’ cabler. The 26-episode first season will begin streaming to Hulu subscribers this spring, with subsequent seasons to be made available to Hulu subscribers after the last episode of each season airs. “Bunnytown” and “Handy Manny” eps also will begin streaming this spring.
“We aspire to bring the best content to our viewers of all ages,” said Craig Erwich, senior VP and head of content for Hulu. “‘Doc McStuffins’ is one of the best shows for young children, and it hails from one of the top brands in children’s programming.”
Emmy-nominated “Doc McStuffins,” about a 6-year-old girl who takes care of her stuffed animals and toys, is created and executive-produced by Chris Nee (writer on “Little Bill” and producer of “Deadliest Catch”) and directed by Norton Virgien (“Rugrats”).
Hulu is a joint venture of Disney, 21st Century Fox and NBCUniversal.