Hulu Gets Into the Original Series Game

Like competitor Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Hulu has announced that it, too, will be getting into the scripted originals business. Hulu’s new series is called Battleground and takes place in Wisconsin amidst the world of a political campaigns. The show comes from Marc Webb and actor-turned-director JD Walsh.

Hulu’s senior vice president of content, Andy Forssell, told The Hollywood Reporter, “We’ve developed a lot of relationships with great content owners and we see stories that aren’t getting told because they haven’t found a home for whatever reason. We’ll look for content that’s beloved not beliked. The content that really pays off and punches above its weight in our ecosystem is a show that somebody’s going to see and then they want to go email five of their friends or get on Facebook and post about it.”

This news comes shortly after a January 12 blog post by Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, which disclosed the company’s financial success in 2011. Kilar wrote, “We grew the business 60 percent from 2010 to approximately $420 million in revenue. We exceeded our plan despite the soft advertising market (economy) in the second half of 2011. Overall, the Hulu ad business grew aggressively and Hulu Plus materially exceeded our plan.” He continued by saying that Hulu Plus, the company’s $7.99 subscription service, now has more than 1.5 million subscribers and the company expects subscriptions to account for more than half of their business as 2012 progresses.

Here’s how some of these media stocks are reacting to the news today:

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX): NFLX shares recently traded at $97.47, up $3.09, or 3.27%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $62.37 to $304.79. Volume today was 3,010,949 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 8,727,720 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 22.15, while trailing earnings are $4.40 per share.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA): CMCSA shares recently traded at $25.74, up $0.36, or 1.42%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $19.19 to $27.16. Volume today was 2,837,552 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 17,598,400 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 18.52, while trailing earnings are $1.39 per share.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS): CBS shares recently traded at $28.34, up $0.59, or 2.13%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $17.99 to $29.68. Volume today was 699,971 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,522,600 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 16.12, while trailing earnings are $1.76 per share.

Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX): TWX shares recently traded at $37.74, up $0.47, or 1.26%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $27.62 to $38.62. Volume today was 1,331,131 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,984,570 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 14.33, while trailing earnings are $2.63 per share.

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (NASDAQ:DWA): DWA shares recently traded at $17.14, down $0.34, or 1.95%. They have traded in a 52-week range of $16.34 to $30.73. Volume today was 384,693 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 920,051 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 9.86, while trailing earnings are $1.74 per share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ashley Cloninger at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com