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Hulu becomes HBO’s SVOD home in Japan

Scripted-logo-460_2Game Of ThronesHJ Holdings – aka Hulu Japan – has become the exclusive local SVOD licensing partner of US premium cable channel HBO.

Nippon TV-owned Hulu Japan will have exclusive streaming rights to shows such as epic drama Game of Thrones and comedy Silicon Valley in a deal that brings various “HBO series never before seen in Japan” to the country.

HBO does already offer its programming to Japanese pay TV customers through a deal with Star Channel struck in November last year.

The deal, beginning today, comprises “hundreds of hours”, or over 800 episodes, and is a mix of new shows and library titles such as The Sopranos, Girls and Sex in the City.

“We are very excited to be able to deliver HBO’s great line-up, which could be described as a treasure chest of US drama series, to Hulu’s viewers in Japan,” said Kazufumi Nagasawa, HJ Holdings’ chief content officer. “Personally, I am very delighted to finally be able to watch Silicon Valley.”

The deal is latest in a spate of exclusive international partnerships for Time Warner-owned HBO, coming after similar agreements with Bell Media in Canada, Sky across Europe and Star Channel.

“We are delighted to work together with Hulu in Japan to bring HBO’s distinctive programming to Hulu’s viewers, who have a great eye for foreign drama,” said Charles Schreger, HBO’s president, programming sales.

Hulu Japan has not been affiliated with the American SVOD platform of the same name since the latter’s broadcaster parents sold the former to local broadcaster Nippon in 2014. HJ Holdings was then created to house the platform.

In related news, HBO has commissioned a second season of Mick Jagger-produced rock drama Vinyl.