Hulu is reportedly looking to bolster its current lineup of on-demand replays of popular television content by offering viewers the opportunity to watch shows live as their air. Naturally, the option would come at a premium.
Sources familiar with the matter tell The Wall Street Journal that Hulu is working closely with Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox – both co-owners of Hulu – to bring many of their channels to the platform including ABC, ESPN, the Disney Channel, Fox News, FX and Fox’s national and regional sports channels.
Hulu is reportedly holding talks with other programmers although sources say the company isn’t intent on offering up hundreds of channels like you’d find with a traditional cable or satellite bundle. NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast, is also a co-owner of Hulu but hasn’t agreed to license any of its content, we’re told.
Sources tell the publication that Hulu sees an opportunity to pitch the new, as-yet-unnamed service to its more than 10 million subscribers. It’s worth noting that those interested in the live Internet TV service, which may feature a cloud-based DVR, don’t need to be existing Hulu subscribers to sign up.
Hulu is aiming to launch the service sometime in the first quarter of 2017. Pricing hasn’t been confirmed although Sanford C. Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger estimates it will likely go for around $40 a month, a figure that an executive close to Hulu said was in the ballpark.