Sale Pending, Hulu Launches in Japan

Wed Aug 31, 2011 6:24pm EDT

With the company accepting bids for sale, Hulu has launched its first international subscription service, in Japan.

The company announced on Wednesday night that it will be charging a monthly fee for access to American movies and television shows.

"Today, we are taking a first, but important step to make good on our aspiration to serve customers all over the world,” said Johannes Larcher, SVP of International for Hulu.

In a news release the company said:

"Hulu’s first-of-its-kind service will offer entertainment fans in Japan unlimited instant access to hundreds of premium feature films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Armageddon, Men in Black, Troy, and As Good As It Gets and more," the company said in a news release.

For the launch of the subscription service in Japan, Hulu struck licensing deals with CBS, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company (Japan) featuring content from Disney/ABC Television Group and The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros.

But the move comes at a complicated time, as Hulu is up for sale by its co-owners, NewsCorp, Fox, NBC, Comcast and Providence.

Four companies have submitted bids for the streaming service - Google, Yahoo, Amazon and Dish.

Additional content will be rapidly and continually added to the service, including Japanese-produced content and content from across the Asian region.

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