Hulu Planning Live Cable TV Service With Partners Including Disney and Fox

Hulu-iconStreaming service Hulu is said to be working on a new subscription model that would provide customers with cable-style access to popular broadcast television networks.

In a report by The Wall Street Journal, sources close to the plan said the company's move would directly introduce Hulu as "a competitor to traditional pay-TV providers," in addition to streaming-only services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Hulu's current launch estimate for the cable-like service is sometime early in 2017, and a few partners are already mentioning interest in the program. Disney and Fox are said to be close to signing agreements to provide "many of their channels" to Hulu and its subscribers on the live platform. Some of their networks include ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel, Fox's basic broadcast channels, Fox News, and FX.

The company's ultimate goal with the new service may disappoint cord-cutters looking for a complete replacement for their cable box, as those close to Hulu's plans mentioned it "isn’t looking to offer all the hundreds of channels found in the traditional cable bundle." Still, Hulu is seeking other partners in addition to Disney and Fox, who are both co-owners of Hulu.

Hulu sees an opportunity to pitch its planned service to the more than 10 million people who already subscribe to its on-demand service. Consumers don’t need to be an existing Hulu subscriber to sign up for the new service, which has yet to be named.

In addition to live TV, the unnamed service is rumored to provide users with a cloud-based DVR, letting them record shows and set scheduled tapings similar to current offerings by cable providers. Due to all of these prime features, the current estimated cost of Hulu's live TV plan would be $40 per month, according to Sanford C. Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger. That price was said to be "in the ballpark" by a Hulu executive.

Netflix can be relatively quick in getting up full seasons of recently-aired shows after their finales launch, but it largely depends on the cable network and even then it can be a few weeks to months until they're available on the streaming platform. Hulu has always been ahead of its rivals in providing users access to recently aired TV episodes, launching them one at a time a day after they air, but its new plan would go one step further and let subscribers watch specific TV channels live.

As more customers leave behind cable companies, streaming services are becoming increasingly interested in standalone TV packages such as the one Hulu is looking into launching. Premium channels like Showtime and HBO already have their own specific services, and Apple was even attempting to get a similar $30-$40 web-based TV package launched last year, but failed deals with networks caused the company to put its plans on hold.

Tag: Hulu

Popular Stories

iPhone 17 Plus Feature

iPhone 17 Lineup Specs Detail Display Upgrade and New High-End Model

Monday July 22, 2024 4:33 am PDT by
Key details about the overall specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup have been shared by the leaker known as "Ice Universe," clarifying several important aspects of next year's devices. Reports in recent months have converged in agreement that Apple will discontinue the "Plus" iPhone model in 2025 while introducing an all-new iPhone 17 "Slim" model as an even more high-end option sitting...
iPhone SE 4 Vertical Camera Feature

iPhone SE 4 Production Will Reportedly Begin Ramping Up in October

Tuesday July 23, 2024 2:00 pm PDT by
Following nearly two years of rumors about a fourth-generation iPhone SE, The Information today reported that Apple suppliers are finally planning to begin ramping up mass production of the device in October of this year. If accurate, that timeframe would mean that the next iPhone SE would not be announced alongside the iPhone 16 series in September, as expected. Instead, the report...
iPhone 17 Plus Feature Purple

These 5 Features Will Make the iPhone 17 the Biggest Update in Years

Monday July 22, 2024 4:02 pm PDT by
The upcoming iPhone 16 models that we're expecting to see in September are going to be quite similar to the iPhone 15 models, but rumors suggest that Apple is making big changes in 2025. We've been hearing hints of an all-new device in the iPhone lineup, and it may be the most expensive iPhone Apple has offered to date. New 'Slim' Design Rumors have taken to referring to the new iPhone 17...
Apple TV Plus Feature 2 Magenta and Blue

Apple TV+ Curbs Costs After Expensive Projects Fail to Capture Viewers

Monday July 22, 2024 5:11 am PDT by
Apple is scaling back its Hollywood spending after investing over $20 billion in original programming with limited success, Bloomberg reports. This shift comes after the streaming service, which launched in 2019, struggled to capture a significant share of the market, accounting for only 0.2% of TV viewership in the U.S., compared to Netflix's 8%. Despite heavy investment, critical acclaim,...
iPhone SE 4 Thumb 1

iPhone SE 4 Rumored to Launch Early Next Year With OLED Display, 48MP Camera, and More

Monday July 22, 2024 7:22 am PDT by
The fourth-generation iPhone SE will offer a series of major upgrades over the current model, the leaker known as "Ice Universe" claims. The information was listed in a post on Weibo, which also detailed the specifications of the iPhone 17 lineup. As previously rumored, the fourth-generation iPhone SE is expected to feature Face ID and USB-C, marking a major upgrade from current and previous ...
bsod

Microsoft Blames European Commission for Major Worldwide Outage

Monday July 22, 2024 11:55 am PDT by
Last Friday, a major CrowdStrike outage impacted PCs running Microsoft Windows, causing worldwide issues affecting airlines, retailers, banks, hospitals, rail networks, and more. Computers were stuck in continuous recovery loops, rendering them unusable. The failure was caused by an update to the CrowdStrike Falcon antivirus software that auto-installed on Windows 10 PCs, but Mac and Linux...
iOS 18 on iPhone Feature

Everything New in iOS 18 Beta 4

Tuesday July 23, 2024 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple released the fourth beta of iOS 18 today, introducing small changes to a number of features throughout the operating system. There are no big additions in this beta, but Apple is continuing to refine existing settings and design choices. Apple plans to continue updating iOS 18 over the next few months, with the update set to be released this fall. We've rounded up all of the changes...

Top Rated Comments

ACE83 Avatar
107 months ago
I still don't understand why people want live tv (other than sports?). Just give me everything, on demand, streaming, at all times. I don't need a cloud DVR, that's just something else to manage. I am tired of "thinking" about TV. Let me add shows I like to a watchlist accessible on all devices with badges when a new show is available. Seems simple to me? What Hulu is doing now is almost there.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mattopotamus Avatar
107 months ago
oh so cable :P

I actually like the "on-demand" style of netflix, hbo now, etc. Isn't live TV a step backwards? It is cable, just not from the cable company.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TurboPGT! Avatar
107 months ago
So, why would I want Live again? So I can go back to watching commercials? No thanks.

That is obviously the entire motivator behind this. With exception of sports, which I already pay for through a separate App, there is no such thing as "Live" TV. Just "the first time this has ever aired" TV.

I can wait until the next day to watch it, when I'm ready to watch it, and without any commercials.

Hulu, this is a fail before it even gets off the ground.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
107 months ago
At first I thought, why would anyone pay almost 3x or 4x more than the current Hulu offering just for access to live shows, when almost all those same shows are available a day after they initially air on Hulu?

Then I got worried that this might mean the less expensive plan is going away, or will be significantly changed. I really hope it isn't. The $13/month for commercial-free Hulu is great!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
107 months ago
Once again, as long as cable companies also control your broadband Internet access, this is a non-starter. With Comcast now moving to a metered model and also making Internet access more expensive if you don't also take their cable package, Hulu's proposal would be more costly in the end.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KdParker Avatar
107 months ago
Once again, as long as cable companies also control your broadband Internet access, this is a non-starter. With Comcast now moving to a metered model and also making Internet access more expensive if you don't also take their cable package, Hulu's proposal would be more costly in the end.
So in the end.

-Streaming stations will be bundled and cost the same as cable
-There will be the added cost for internet access
-And the users will at the mercy of which ever 'streaming' site you sign up with.

How is this better?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)