Hulu has officially unleashed its horse in the crowded virtual pay-TV race.
The streaming-video provider announced the beta launch of Hulu With Live TV, priced starting at $39.99 monthly for around 50 channels. The service includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC programming — with the availability of local TV stations varying by market — and cable nets including ESPN, CNN, Fox News, TBS, TNT and Disney Channel. Showtime is available for $9 extra.
Hulu, which broke the news at its upfront presentation Wednesday in New York City, also announced a new agreement with Scripps Networks Interactive to add networks including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network to both Hulu’s new live service and existing premium streaming offering. Under the pact, Hulu now offers full seasons of Scripps Networks series in the VOD service.
“Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. “It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu.”
Also at its upfront, Hulu also announced the renewal of “The Handmaid’s Tale” for season 2 plus orders for Marvel’s “Runways” teen superhero series and Mars-mission drama “The First,” a Mars-mission drama from “House of Cards” creator Beau Willimon.
In addition, Hulu will become the exclusive subscription streaming home to NBC’s hit primetime drama “This Is Us,” senior VP and head of content Craig Erwich announced. It also landed exclusive SVOD rights to FX’s breakout freshman comedy series “Atlanta,” starring Donald Glover.
Missing from Hulu’s live TV menu: HBO, AMC Networks, Viacom’s Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and other nets, Starz, and Discovery Communications channels. The company said additional premium network add-ons will become available soon.
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SOURCE: Variety, Todd Spangler