HBO, which has been under pressure to distribute its content in a pay-per-view online format, will license some of its shows to Hulu — but there’s a big catch: The shows will be available in Japan, reports EW.com’s Inside TV.
Titles including "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" will be available to customers of Hulu’s Japanese service, with more titles arriving later in the year, the story says.
A campaign called "Take My Money, HBO!" is urging the pay-cable service to make its content available in more convenient forms, or else risk having its shows stolen via file sharing services, the story notes.
As previously reported, HBO"s "Game of Thrones" is television’s most pirated show, with almost as many illegal downloads as legal viewers.
The report notes: “HBO fans in the U.S. shouldn’t think the Japan deal represents some kind of game-change signal from the network that will soon bring ‘True Blood’ to the stateside version of Hulu, however. HBO licenses its products in all sorts of ways around the world on a market-by-market basis.”
Said an HBO spokesperson: “For now, the economics do not support a stand-alone HBO online service.”