NBCU Int’l preps reality on-demand service

Hayu, a streaming service that boasts over 3,000 episodes of such hits as Keeping Up with the Kardashians and the Real Housewives franchise, will make its debut in the UK, Ireland and Australia.
February 11, 2016

Top-rated reality content is making its way to the SVOD space, via a platform unveiled by NBC Universal International.

Hayu, a streaming service that boasts over 3,000 episodes of such hits as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and the Real Housewives franchise, will make its debut in the UK, Ireland and Australia in March.

The content, collected from NBCUniversal’s reality roster, will be refreshed with over 500 episodes added to the service each year. New episodes of reality series will come to the service the same day that they make their U.S. premieres.

Other series that will be made available through the service include E!’s I Am Cait, Bravo’s Top Chef franchises and Flipping Out, and RuPaul’s Drag Race for the UK and Ireland, among others.

In a nod to the binge-watching trend, the service will also collect episodes of assorted series in “box sets” that will allow fans to watch their favorite series, or discover new favorites, from the beginning.

The service will be available via a variety of devices, including mobile, tablet, laptop and connected TV. As well, it will incorporate social media news feeds, access to the social media feeds of reality talent, and shareable, short-form content alongside the programming.

Consumers will pay a monthly, no-contract fee for the service: £3.99 in the UK, €4.99 in Ireland and $5.99 in Australia, beginning with a free one-month trial.

NBCUniversal International chairman Kevin MacLellan

NBCUniversal International chairman Kevin MacLellan

“NBCUniversal’s expertise as the foremost producer of reality programming – along with the obvious popularity of the genre – was the trigger for launching Hayu,” said Kevin MacLellan, chairman of NBC Universal International, in a statement. “We know that reality content is a primary driver of social interaction and that fans of reality TV significantly over-index in online viewing. We set out to build a service that elegantly combines the best high-end reality shows with the most popular social media and digital news platforms. Uniquely in Hayu, fans can find it all in one place.”

In the U.S., SVOD players who had previously eschewed unscripted content in favor of feature doc projects are moving into the space. Amazon’s still-developing unscripted team includes former AMC unscripted VP Tracey Lentz in a development and programming exec role, and Netflix is reportedly meeting with some of the top producers in the genre for potential projects, with buzz at the Realscreen Summit including talk of a deal with Leftfield Entertainment.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.