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

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
56 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)
Avatar
56 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)
Avatar
56 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)
Avatar
56 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)
Avatar
56 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)
Avatar
56 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)

Top Stories

Apple Announces New 27-Inch iMac With 10th-Gen Processors, Up to 128GB RAM, 1080p Webcam, True Tone, and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 8:07 am PDT by
Apple today announced a new 27-inch iMac with faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, next-generation AMD graphics, up to 128GB of RAM, a higher-resolution 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera, a True Tone display with a nano-texture glass option, a T2 chip, higher fidelity speakers, studio-quality microphones, and more. A breakdown of the new 27-inch iMac's features and specs:10th...

8 Third-Party Home Screen Widgets That You Can Try Out Now on iOS 14

Wednesday August 5, 2020 12:56 pm PDT by
One of the biggest new features of iOS 14 is Home Screen widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. The widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. When the iOS 14 beta was first released in June, widgets were limited to Apple's own apps like Calendar and Weather, but several third-party developers have begun to test ...

Everything New in iOS 14 Beta 4: Apple TV Widget, Search Improvements, Exposure Notification API and More

Tuesday August 4, 2020 11:14 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth developer betas of iOS and iPadOS 14 for testing purposes, tweaking and refining some of the features and design changes included in the update. Changes get smaller and less notable as the beta testing period goes on, but there are still some noteworthy new features in the fourth beta, which we've highlighted below. - Apple TV widget - There's a new Apple TV...

Apple May Launch This Year's 'iPhone 12' Lineup in Two Stages, With 6.1-inch Models Debuting First

Monday August 3, 2020 3:14 am PDT by
Apple last week confirmed that its "‌iPhone‌ 12" launch will be delayed this year due to the ongoing global health crisis and restrictions on travel. Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later," suggesting a release sometime in October. We're expecting a total of four OLED iPhones in 5.4, 6.1, and...

Apple Explains Why You Might See 'Not Charging' When a Mac is Plugged In

Monday August 3, 2020 1:42 pm PDT by
If you have a Mac and have seen a "Not Charging" warning when plugging it in to power, Apple last week released a support document that explains why. Macs running macOS 10.15.5 or later have a Battery Health Management feature to preserve the life of the battery, and occasionally, the Battery Health Management option will cause the Mac to pause its charging for calibration purposes.Depending ...

Supposed iPhone 12 Display Unit Leaks

Thursday August 6, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
An image supposedly of an iPhone 12 display unit has been shared online by leaker "Twitter user Mr. White". Compared to images of an iPhone 11 Pro display piece, this new unit has a reoriented display connector, reaching up from the bottom of the display, rather than from the left-hand side on iPhone 11 Pro. This may be due to the logic board moving to the other side of the device. A...

Google's $349 Pixel 4a vs. Apple's $399 iPhone SE

Wednesday August 5, 2020 1:45 pm PDT by
Google this week launched its newest smartphone, the $349 Pixel 4a, a low-cost device that's designed to compete with other affordable devices like Apple's iPhone SE. We picked up one of the new Pixel 4a smartphones and thought we'd check it out to see how it measures up to the iPhone SE, given that the two devices have such similar price points. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 20, Galaxy Z Fold 2, and Galaxy Buds to Compete With Apple's iPhones and AirPods Pro

Wednesday August 5, 2020 10:07 am PDT by
Samsung today held a virtual Galaxy Unpacked event where it unveiled its next-generation smartphones that will compete with Apple's 2020 iPhone lineup, set to come out in the fall. Samsung announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 20 and the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the two newest devices in the Note lineup, and, more notably, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung's latest foldable smartphone. The...

Alleged 'iPhone 12' Images Depict Circular Array of Magnets in Chassis

Wednesday August 5, 2020 4:39 am PDT by
New images shared on Weibo appear to show a circular array of magnets housed inside an "iPhone 12" chassis. The unverified images depict 36 individual magnets in a circular arrangement, suggesting they could be related to mounting or charging. EverythingApplePro, who shared the Weibo-originating images on Twitter, also posted an image of an alleged iPhone 12 case with a similar array of...