High off its recent acquisitions of Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary Eight Days a Week and the iconic children’s series Curious George, Hulu has acquired the exclusive U.S. streaming rights to another pop-culture mainstay: Sonic the Hedgehog.
All 47 episodes of the animated children’s series Sonic Boom, based on the popular video game franchise, will roll out on Hulu later in May. The debut is timed with the 25th anniversary of Sonic’s first appearance on the Sega game system.
According to Hulu, Sonic Boom has consistently been ranked #1 or #2 in its time slot on the Cartoon Network in the U.S. for boys age six to 11 years, and kids age nine to 14 years. The series also aired on French TV networks Gulli and Canal J, and Cartoon Network Australia, Taiwan, Philippines and Malaysia.
The acquisition is an additional feather in Hulu’s cap, as the SVOD looks to grow its reputation as the go-to television option of the digital world. At its recent NewFronts presentation, company CEO Mike Hopkins said the SVOD is furthering that mission by diversifying and broadening its programming, including amping up its kid and family-friendly content.
While most digital players are seeing a spike in viewers streaming content via mobile devices, Hulu’s main engagement (70%, according to the company) is over a connected TV.
“We’ve literally put the TV back in the TV,” said Hopkins at the NewFronts.
The character of Sonic was originally conceived as a mascot character for the Sega game system, although the character later moved to other gaming platforms such as Nintendo and XBox. More than 30 video game and television spin-offs have since come out of the franchise
Sonic Boom will be available on Hulu in both English and Spanish.