Hulu’s live streaming service lands a biggie
Signs CBS for new over-the-top package, including NFL games
January 5, 2017
There was never any doubt, when word leaked a few months ago that Hulu was planning an over-the-top service to go after cord-cutters, that ABC, Fox and NBC would participate in the program.
The parent companies of those three are co-owners of the streaming video on demand site.
The idea for the OTT service would never have been broached if they hadn’t been ready to make their channels available for live streaming.
No, the big question was whether CBS would bite on the service. And the answer was pretty uncertain.
Pursuing an OTT service of its own
CBS had been offered a chance to come in as a co-owner of Hulu and rebuffed the offer. Instead, it chose to do things on its own, including launch a standalone OTT service, CBS All Access, that gives subscribers current and past library content from the network and some limited live choices.
But with CBS pushing All Access hard, including launching two new high-profile scripted shows in the coming months on the service (a spinoff of “The Good Wife” and a new “Star Trek” series), it seemed unlikely the network would choose to participate in Hulu’s venture.
Well, it turns out that thinking was wrong.
Hulu said Wednesday it has reached a deal with CBS to offer the network as well as CBS Sports Network and Pop, the entertainment-focused cable channel, on its new OTT service.
Hulu deal with CBS includes the NFL
Hulu still hasn’t specified when the service will launch, saying only sometime this year. But it did note that two highly valuable CBS properties, the NFL and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, will be included on the live feed for Hulu.
That’s a big deal, and it could definitely help drive subscriptions to the service, which will bill itself a cheaper alternative to cable or satellite.
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