Hulu adds Fox, Disney to live line up

By Jim O'Neill on Nov 01 2016 at 8:30 PM
Hulu adds Fox, Disney to live line up

Hulu is turning up the heat on, well, everybody, announcing today that it’s signed Disney and Fox to its live streaming service it plans to deploy early next year.

The deal means Hulu will add Fox’s entertainment, news, sports and non-fiction services, as well as Disney’s portfolio of networks from Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN Inc. to the line-up of programming that will be available to stream live and on-demand through Hulu’s new TV streaming service, set to launch in early 2017.

Included in the agreements are more than 35 networks, including broadcast networks FOX and ABC; Fox Sports networks such as the Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and BTN; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN 3; Fox Regional Sports Networks across dozens of key national markets; Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior; Fox News and Fox Business; Freeform; FX, FXX and FXM, and National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.

Hulu already has an affiliate agreement with Time Warner for live and on-demand streaming of Turner networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies.

“We’re building a service that offers subscribers the most sought-after programming on television -- and channels from 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are essential to that mix,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu. “With these two new deals in place, and additional partners to come, Hulu will soon give TV fans of all ages live and on-demand access to their favorite programs in a whole new, more flexible, highly personalized way.”

No mention, yet, of CBS or NBC, but NBCUniversal is part of the group that owns Hulu (along with 21st Century Fox, Disney and Time Warner, which bought a 10% share in August), so that announcement likely isn’t too far off.

A deal with CBS also has yet to be announced. CBS does, however, have a deal with Google’s planned Cloud TV play, Unplugged, but it has yet to sign with AT&T’s virtual play, DirecTV Now, which apparently is set to roll out this month, sans CBS and FOX.

AT&T’s play will include 100-odd channels for $35, including content from Disney, HBO, Discovery, NBC, Turner, Scripps, Starz, AMC, A&E and Viacom.

CBS, however, has signed a deal to be part of a live Google streaming product, Unplugged, that’s expected to launch early next year.

And, of course, it operates its own streaming service, CBS All Access.

Anybody else?

Well, maybe, but it’s a longshot that Apple will end up owning a piece of the live streaming Cloud TV space, unless it does a major about face.

Already serving the market are Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue, although neither has total buy in from the Big 4 networks.

And, increasingly, cable operators are finally putting together their own truly skinny bundles to stream, rather than pout through a set-top box. Charter, for example, has a $20/mo. package that includes all of the majors plus an array of must-haves, like ESPN and AMC.

With Hulu’s new deals in place (and the likelihood that NBU will opt in soon), it’s open season on pay-TV operators, all of whom have bright red bull’s-eyes squarely on their backs.

A la carte – at least a bastardized version of it – is here to stay.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn


PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Live sports, Operators, OTT, Cloud TV
PPV UFC 214 comes to Sling TV. Will it drive subscriptions?
Jul 26 2017 9:30 AM

Sling TV is planning to offer its first-ever pay-per-view (PPV) event, the much anticipated UFC grudge match that features a pair of light heavyweights. UFC 214: Cormier v. Jones 2 features current champ Daniel Cormier against ex-champ Jon Jones who last met in 2015 at UFC 182.

AT&T pushing 5G mobile tech to support rapid DirecTV Now expansion
Mobile, Cloud TV, Virtual MVPD
AT&T pushing 5G mobile tech to support rapid DirecTV Now expansion
Jan 05 2017 5:30 AM

Think AT&T is looking at its DirecTV Now as a complementary service to its satellite-delivered DirecTV service or wired service U-verse TV? Think again.

AT&T at CES this week previewed its 5G wireless technology, and said it would begin testing the tech this year with its DirecTV Now service as a major piece of the delivery matrix.

Hulu live streaming price to be under $40; adds CBS, CBS Sports to line up
Cloud TV, Virtual MVPD, Content Deals
Hulu live streaming price to be under $40; adds CBS, CBS Sports to line up
Jan 04 2017 11:45 AM

Hulu’s entry into live streaming will launch within the next few months for less than $40/mo., according to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins, who also announced the service had reached a deal with CBS for its live content to go along with ABC and Fox.

Missing still is NBCUniversal, which, interestingly, is one of Hulu’s owners.

Wrapping up 2016 on a high note for streaming industry, consumers
OTT, Live Streaming, Cloud TV
Wrapping up 2016 on a high note for streaming industry, consumers
Dec 19 2016 7:15 AM

A recent study from a consumer research firm found an astonishing 41% of U.S. adults said they’d be shaving — or cutting — the pay-TV cord in the next 12 months. They also found satisfaction with OTT was higher than with pay TV and that they were more likely to recommend an OTT service to a friend or family member than a pay-TV service.