Suddenlink flipped the switch on its Hulu integration this week, and is now offering TV subscribers access to Hulu’s app on its TiVo-made cable boxes. But don’t expect to binge on “Jane the Virgin” or the “Vampire Diaries” on your Suddenlink TiVo any time soon: Shows from the CW and Univision are curiously absent from the integration.
Hulu disclosed this fact in the fine print of a new signup page for Suddenlink customers, which states: “CW and Univision content is not available through Hulu on your cable provider’s set top box. You may still be able to watch this content through other Hulu-supported devices.”
Suddenlink first announced a deal with Hulu a year ago, and is one of a number of operators willing to carry apps for subscription streaming services on its set-top boxes. Just last month, Cablevision rolled out a similar integration for its Optimum TV customers.
The logic behind these partnerships is that consumers are going to use services like Netflix and Hulu anyway. Adding them to the cable box takes away the need for an over-the-top streaming device like Roku or Apple TV, which could entice consumers to cut the cord entirely.
Except, Suddenlink customers still need another streaming box if they want to make full use of their Hulu subscription, and happen to be a fan of a CW or Univision show. The same is true for Cablevision Optimum subscribers, Variety has learned.
However, the operators aren’t at fault for the gap in Hulu’s line-up. Instead, Hulu simply wasn’t able to obtain the necessary rights from both networks to carry them on operator-leased equipment. At this point, it’s unclear why discussions between the networks and Hulu broke down, but an industry source suggested that local affiliates may have played a role.
A Hulu spokesperson wasn’t available for comment.