Hulu strikes deal with CBS for upcoming TV service

As far as the channel lineup is concerned, the upcoming service will include selections such as ABC, CBC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Fox, Fox Sports 1, Fox News, FX, FXX, National Geographic, TBS, TNT, The Cartoon Network and more.

There isn't an exact date of when the live stream of TV shows, but it's expected to roll out at some point in the first quarter of the new year, which means it will be available at some point from the beginning of January to the end of March.

Hopkins didn't have a clear cut answer for exactly what Hulu's live service will be priced at, but the magic number is "under $40".

Hopkins said in the release that CBS is "vital" to a successful live-TV offering.

After CBS launched its own paid service "CBS All-Access" four months ago it seemed that other partnerships could be unlikely. Hulu is the only streaming subscription service that offers current season programming from top US broadcast networks the day after new episodes air, as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals including The Mindy Project, The Path, 11.22.63, Difficult People and the Golden Globe® nominated comedy series, Casual. Sling TV has three options for people: a $20 base plan, a $25 middle ground and a $40 all-inclusive. He's possibly referring to Comcast, which owns NBC (and, oddly enough, a stake in Hulu) but hasn't been confirmed yet as part of the package.

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Hulu hopes that CBS and its DVR feature will give it the edge in the race to attract millennials, cord-cutters and cord-nevers with streaming bundle services that don't require set-top boxes, satellite dishes, annual contracts or credit checks. Hopkins pointed out that while a specific price has yet to be figured out, it wouldn't be an introductory fee.

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.

Hulu still hasn't specified when the service will launch, saying only sometime this year.

Sling TV and PlayStation Vue have been around since 2015 and may be alternatives consumers are interested in.

  • Carlos Nash