Hulu is preparing to break into the channel bundling business with plans to offer a low-cost streaming package of cable and broadcast outlets early next year.
The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday that Hulu is in the process of setting agreements with Fox and Disney, two of its three parent companies, to carry key channels including ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC, Fox, FX and Fox Sports 1.
Hulu would join Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Vue and Dish Network’s Sling TV in the race to market skinny bundles of channels via streaming to cost-conscious consumers. The Journal reported that Hulu is eyeing a price tag of about $40 per month and a launch in the first quarter of next year.
Amazon has also taken steps to market pay-TV channels in partnership with programmers including Starz.
Comcast has not yet agreed to license NBC or any of its other channels to the Hulu bundle, according to the Journal. Comcast is a part owner of Hulu, which will mark its 10th anniversary next year, but is a silent partner per the federal conditions of the cable giant’s agreement to acquire NBCUniversal in 2011.
Hulu is planning to talk up its growth in original programming at a presentation to advertisers in New York on Wednesday. Reps for the company could not immediately be reached for comment.