Hulu Bringing CBS-Owned Networks to Live TV Service, Which Will Be Priced 'Under $40' Per Month

Hulu and CBS have reached an agreement that will bring CBS-owned channels to Hulu's upcoming live-streaming service, as well as grant subscribers on-demand access to recent episodes of popular CBS shows like Mom and The Big Bang Theory (via The Wall Street Journal). Full access to current and past seasons of these shows will remain on CBS All Access.

The current deal includes user access to CBS Sports Network and Pop, a pop culture focused network, with the potential for more CBS networks -- like CBS’s Smithsonian Channel and The CW -- to be added down the line. Although unspecified, it's also predicted that Hulu will continue to offer the CBS-owned premium network Showtime as an add-on within its new live-streaming package. Current Hulu subscribers can purchase Showtime for $8.99 on top of their monthly Hulu cost.

hulu-and-cbs
According to people close to the deal, CBS will receive "more than $3 per monthly subscriber" at the service's launch, with the multiyear contract signaling the potential for the network's take to rise above $4.

The streaming service aims to offer a more personalized, intuitive version of cable TV than that offered by traditional pay-TV distributors and even newer streaming entrants. At launch, Hulu’s offering will also include a cloud-based digital video recorder and many local station affiliates.

CBS’s pact with Hulu shows that at least for now the network is finding a way to have its cake and eat it, too—striking deals with distributors while maintaining a stand-alone streaming service with some 1.2 million subscribers. Moreover, the deal with Hulu involves CBS’s direct rivals; the streaming service is owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner.

During the announcement at an investor conference this week, Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins also mentioned that the service is set to cost users "under $40" per month. The service will include Hulu's existing video content library as well, which now includes a wide selection of movies from Disney.

Word of Hulu's upcoming live-streaming service began spreading last May, when it was said that the company's new subscription plan would directly introduce it as "a competitor to traditional pay-TV providers," in addition to on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Hulu's unnamed cable-like service will now be backed with channels from CBS, Walt Disney, Time Warner, Fox, and NBC.

Hulu will be entering a steadily growing and competitive market with its live-streaming service. Both Sling TV and DirecTV NOW are available to users on the iOS and Apple TV App Stores for streaming and viewing live television networks without the need for a traditional cable subscription. In the past, Apple tried to launch its own $30-$40 TV service but became "frustrated" and ultimately shelved the plans after failing to find mutually advantageous ways to work with network programmers.

Tags: CBS, Hulu

Top Rated Comments

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50 months ago
$40 is far too much. It's back in the realm of regular cable TV, just with less content.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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50 months ago
Under $40?

That's not anything super and without any other details, seems like a lot!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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50 months ago
$39.99/month to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory? Shoot me now.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
I tried Sling TV and the interface and lag were pretty bad. DirecTV Now is way better and has more content, but it still suffers from timing out and necessitates I force quit the app on my Apple TV just to get it to start streaming again. I'm hoping that can be fixed soon, but if not, I'll definitely consider Hulu's streaming service. Especially since it has CBS, which is one of the few things missing from DirecTV Now. I'm interested in watching the new Star Trek TV series, and it would be REALLY tempting if I could watch Chiefs games on CBS Sports. I'm paid up on DirecTV now for three months since I did the Apple TV deal, so I'm sticking with that for the time being. But I'm glad that more players are getting into this market. As I've said for years, it's only a matter of time. Streaming is where it's at. We already pay for Hulu, so if we got all the other benefits of Hulu plus the live streaming, then that would be an even better deal.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
I'm skeptical. It looks like the brave new world of streaming TV is just going to end up with all the disadvantages of cable, buying bundles of channels (I dislike paying for sports I don't watch), paying monthly rates for things you aren't watching and so on. Especially when it concerns programming that is already advertising-supported.

With the additional downside of burdening the internet with redundant streams of data, and even more with 4K.

I'll use my antenna and buy shows i really want to watch a la carte from Amazon, thank you. Or discover shows I missed two years ago on Netflix.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
50 months ago
"Under $40" reads to me as $39.99 a month. Not terrible since it includes the paid Hulu service as well as cloud DVR, but I really hate CBS and couldn't care less about their shows. I think DirecTV Now has the best lineup and price currently, but their service is completely broken with QP1508 errors every 10 minutes, and they have no DVR.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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