TLC Shows Disappearing from Hulu, Discovery+ Looks To Be Their New Home
Hulu subscribers who are also fans of TLC favorites like “90 Day Fiance,” “My Strange Addiction,” and “Say Yes to the Dress” have taken to Twitter and Reddit to report an alarming development today: the platform has flagged the programs with an expiration date scheduled for next week. While the writing has been on the wall since Discovery’s launch of discovery+ in January of this year, it looks as though the company might finally be coming to collect as a 24-hour marathon of “90 Day Fiance” has also now appeared on the fledgling platform.
The Streamable has reached out to Hulu and Discovery for comment. According to those familiar with their deal, it appears that their 2018 agreement is expiring. If it is not renewed, the content will leave Hulu next week. It’s not clear how this will impact carriage of Discovery-owned channels on Hulu + Live TV and on-demand content available to those customers.
Disappointing as it may be for fans of TLC programming, it’s in Discovery’s best interest to keep its content under its own roof. We can expect to continue to see companies make moves to retake and retain the streaming rights to properties and characters previously licensed to platforms that have now become competitors.
One can assume that there will be a great deal of content shuffling in the near future as companies navigate their continuing/expiring contractual obligations looking to bolster their content libraries with exclusivity. Everyone is digging in and looking to differentiate themselves from the rest of the field with branded material that is not available anywhere else. (One exception would be Sony, which has turned itself into a content arms dealer, thanks to agreements with Netflix and Disney.)
Discovery+ is a newcomer to the streaming world, but the company is no slouch when it comes to having a backlog of robust content. Advertising itself as the go-to platform for reality-based, unscripted, and DIY content, the service is packed with heavy hitters, having launched out of the gate with shows from HGTV, Food Network, Animal Planet, and ID.
Last month, the company also acquired the rights to stream content from All3Media, grabbing another 250+ hours of reality TV programming including a heft slate of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s shows like “Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait” and “Gordon Ramsay Behind Bars.”
The platform also recently released Immersions, a unique new channel showcasing meditative, ambient footage of the natural world such as waterfalls, sunsets, and basking manatees.
From animal lovers to armchair crime scene investigators, discovery+ definitely has wide ranging appeal.
While the platform’s announcement and launch left some viewers bitter, seeing it as a cash grab for shows that they already pay to watch on other platforms (for now!), others are pleased with the offerings and one can expect that some may drop their subscriptions to other services to maintain viewership of their favorite shows as they come back to roost under the Discovery umbrella.
Discovery's platform is expected to continue to grow through the rest of this year, and this trajectory is no doubt contingent on continuing to maintain its status as the home of streaming reality TV.