NBCUniversal in Talks to Join Hulu Channel Bundle (EXCLUSIVE)

NBCUniversal is in talks with Hulu to join the streaming service’s planned over-the-top offering of cable and broadcast channels, Variety has learned.

The two companies are in the early stages of active negotiations, according to a person familiar with the situation. The source added that NBCUniversal was recently approached by Hulu about the prospect of partnering on the offering.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday evening that Hulu was in talks with Fox and Disney about creating a low-cost streaming package of cable and broadcast networks that would circumvent traditional cable distribution. The package would include key networks such as ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC, Fox, FX and Fox Sports 1. According to the Journal, Hulu is eyeing a $40 price for the package.

Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Vue and Dish Network’s Sling TV have already established a market for so-called “skinny bundles” that stream television channels to consumers who do not wish to pay for a complete cable package.

Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal are ownership partners in Hulu, though NBCUniversal is a silent partner under federal conditions of parent company Comcast’s agreement to acquire NBCUniversal in 2011.

In addition to the NBC broadcast network, NBCUniversal’s cable channels include Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen, Syfy and USA.

Hulu will make its annual presentation to advertisers on Wednesday in New York. Representatives for Hulu and NBCUniversal declined to comment.

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