CBS, Hulu Ink SVOD Pact For 'CSI'

CBS has reached a multiyear subscription video on demand pact with Hulu for all previous seasons of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.

Under the deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, more than 300 installments of TV's former top drama will be available for streaming on Hulu Plus, beginning in early April.

Hulu also will become the exclusive SVOD home to all episodes of the series, adding full libraries of past seasons ahead of future season premieres. The deal marks the first time CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has ever been licensed to an SVOD service.

The announcement follows CBS CEO Les Moonves' mention during its earning call last week that the programmer had reached a major SVOD pact. 

CSI is one of the most popular television franchises in the world and we could not be more thrilled to make all episodes available to Hulu subscribers,” said Craig Erwich, senior vice president and head of xontent at Hulu. “This deal not only represents a huge growth in our offering of premium content, but it also represents an expansion in our partnership with CBS. We look forward to working with CBS to continue making some of the best shows on television available for viewers to stream on more screens in the future.”

“The original series from the most successful franchise in television history has been licensed to the SVOD market for the first time,” said Scott Koondel, chief corporate content licensing officer for CBS Corp.  “This agreement and previous deals with our partners at Hulu further validates how well CBS procedural dramas perform on subscription services.  And, at a time when the CBS Television Network is getting ready to premiere the next generation of the CSI franchise with CSI: Cyber, it’s very exciting to make available all 14 seasons of the show that started it all to Hulu subscribers and CSI’s passionate fan base.”

Hulu will also soon become the exclusive SVOD home to all previous seasons of the CBS crime drama Elementary.

CSI  joins more than 5,300 library episodes of popular CBS programming added to Hulu last year in an expanded licensing deal with the network, including CSI: Miami.  In separate deals, Hulu acquired non-exclusive subscription streaming rights to previous seasons of The Good Wife and procedural Blue Bloods.

CBS has been able to build revenue streams within the streaming space. It has inked deals with Netflix for the full catalogs of spinoffs CSI: New York and CSI: Mi while Amazon meanwhile, offers CSI on VOD and has established a strong relationship with CBS for shows including dramas Under the Dome and Extant, which help offset the costs of the pricey summer fare. Hulu, too, offers CSI: Miami as part of its extensive library deal with CBS.