The new Corus logo at Corus Quay in Toronto is photographed on Friday, June 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

The new Corus logo at Corus Quay in Toronto is photographed on Friday, June 22, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin

Corus, Hulu announce ‘breakthrough’ multi-year streaming deal

Its Corus Studios division has signed a deal to sell more than 200 episodes of programming to Hulu

Corus Entertainment Inc. announced a distribution deal with U.S. streaming service Hulu Friday as it reported better-than-expected second-quarter financial results.

The Toronto-based company — which owns one of Canada’s largest radio groups, the Global television network and dozens of specialty cable channels — said its Corus Studios division has signed a deal to sell more than 200 episodes of programming to Hulu.

Hulu — jointly owned by Disney and NBCUniversal — will acquire the first three seasons of “Backyard Builds” as well as other renovation and food-related titles such as “Family Home Overhaul”, “$ave My Reno” and “Big Food Bucket List.”

Financial details of the deal weren’t announced, but Corus chief executive Doug Murphy told analysts on a conference call that it was a “breakthrough” multi-year agreement.

Murphy also said Corus has had very positive momentum with advertisers, the major source of revenue for its television and radio businesses.

“We’re going to be up a lot in Q3. Full stop. The question is, how big,” Murphy said, referring to the third quarter ending May 31.

Murphy said the latest round of restrictions due to the pandemic will delay growth for some categories of advertising — such as those attuned to entertainment and dining — but other categories that have been doing well will continue to do well.

Corus’s second-quarter results topped expectations as it reported that its profit for the three months ended Feb. 28 nearly doubled compared with a year ago.

The quarter was helped by a continued recovery in TV advertising revenue, new subscribers to its paid streaming services and growth in its content licensing business, Corus said.

It reported a second-quarter profit of $35.3 million or 17 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Feb. 28, up from $18.5 million or nine cents per diluted share a year earlier.

Revenue totalled nearly $358.9 million, down from nearly $376 million.

On an adjusted basis, Corus says it earned 18 cents per share in its latest quarter, up from an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts on average had expected an adjusted profit of 12 cents per share for the quarter, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

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