Hulu sells its Japanese business to Nippon in order to focus on the U.S.

Less than three years after launching a leading online video subscription service in Japan, Hulu has decided to bow out of the country. Santa Monica-based Hulu has agreed to sell its Hulu Japan subscription service to Japan’s Nippon Television Network, the companies announced late Thursday. The transaction, which is subject to regulatory review, is expected to close this spring.

Hulu has sold its Japanese business to broadcaster Nippon Television Network (Nippon TV) and will focus on its U.S. operations. The deal is expected to be finalized in spring pending regulatory conditions, the two companies said. The move marks Hulu’s retreat from overseas operations and a refocus on its U.S. business. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. “We reached a point in the growth of the business in Japan where we felt the best path forward is to sell the company—Nippon TV is the top broadcaster in Japan, so they are a logical strategic partner,” Meredith Kendall, a spokeswoman for Hulu, wrote in an email. Hulu in Japan launched in September 2011 as its first overseas expansion. The service streams TV shows, films and other content for ¥980 (about US$9.60) per month.

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