Earlier this year Hulu spent several months on the auction block, but now the company is focused on bringing more content to its customers instead. The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu has closed a deal with BBC Worldwide North America, and will be adding 144 different BBC titles to its service in the first year of the agreement. Some of those titles include such high-profile programs as Sherlock, Doctor Who, and Luther. Over 2,000 episodes of television are included in all, and while most of them are destined for the Hulu Plus subscription service some will be available on the free portion of the site (with ads, of course). Fortunately for the streaming company's competitors, the programming is not exclusive to Hulu.
The deal represents a significant step forward for Hulu after some cloudy times. The service had faced confusion about whether a subscription or an ad-based model was the right path forward, and it eventually began accepting several months of bids reportedly from the likes of Yahoo, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable. The three companies behind Hulu — The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, and 21st Century Fox — eventually decided to call off the sale, however, choosing to invest $750 million into Hulu instead. The company's been largely focusing on content since, ordering a supernatural comedy called Deadbeat while the Seth Meyers animated series The Awesomes debuted on August 1st. That focus on original programming, which has become an increasingly contentious battleground as services like Netflix have ramped up, will continue to be a focus for Hulu. Acting chief executive Andy Forssell told the Journal that while original shows account for only 5 percent of the company's viewing, Hulu expects that number to jump as high as 15 percent in the coming years.