×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hulu Live TV Service Won’t Have Viacom Networks

Internet streaming service still negotiating with AMC, Discovery, Scripps, NBCU

Hulu’s live TV service will not have Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV or any other Viacom-owned networks, with the streaming company definitively deciding to forego a carriage deal with the media conglomerate.

Hulu’s decision to not go forward with Viacom, reported earlier by Bloomberg, comes after the VOD distribution agreement between the two companies expired last month. A Hulu rep confirmed that there will be no deal with Viacom for linear television networks but declined to comment further.

While Hulu had been seeking to include Viacom networks in the bundle, that was contingent on the media conglomerate agreeing to a large subscription VOD deal — a direction Viacom is moving away from. “SVOD is not going to be a significant part of our affiliate revenue” going forward, CEO Bob Bakish said on Viacom’s earnings call in February, adding that the company would be “highly selective in striking agreements with over-the-top distributors.”

Asked for comment on Hulu’s decision, a Viacom spokesman said, “We currently have distribution with the largest virtual MVPDs, and are engaged in ongoing conversations with a spectrum of new, emerging digital distributors as we execute against our recently announced strategy.”

After some delays, Hulu’s live TV service — to be priced under $40 per month — is expected to debut in April, although no date has been set at this point. Originally, according to a source familiar with Hulu’s plans, it wanted to launch the service in time for the NCAA March Madness tournament. The service will feature a cloud-based DVR, personalization features and a revamped interface designed for live-television viewing.

Hulu, owned by NBCUniversal, Disney and 21st Century Fox, on Friday announced a distribution deal with A+E Networks. It has previously announced pacts with 21st Century Fox, CBS, Disney-ESPN and Turner.

Hulu is still in talks with Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive and AMC Networks. It also has not yet officially inked an agreement with NBCU but that’s expected to be reached in the coming weeks.

Last November, Sony dropped Viacom networks from the PlayStation Vue internet-delivered pay-TV service, saying in a statement, “We have determined that removing the bundle of channels from Viacom is the best way for us to continue to offer the most compelling value to our fans.”

Viacom does have a deal for AT&T’s DirecTV Now, while Dish Network’s Sling TV carries just Comedy Central. Google’s recently announced YouTube TV will not include Viacom nets at launch (nor does YouTube currently have Discovery, A+E, Scripps, Turner or HBO), with deals to offer CBS, Showtime, Fox, NBC, ABC and Disney channels.

Last month Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said the company would double down on six core channels (out of its portfolio of 25), angling to make them must-have networks for any pay-TV bundle: Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike TV, which will be rechristened the Paramount Network in early 2018 and converted into a general entertainment channel.

More Digital

  • hdhomerun roku app

    HDHomerun App Brings Live TV to Roku Devices

    Roku users are getting another way to watch live television with the help of their favorite streaming devices: Silicondust, maker of the HDHomerun TV tuners, has released a beta version of its HDHomerun app for Roku TVs and streaming devices. “We need to start out by saying this is very much a beta product,” the [...]

  • Vox Media

    Vox Media Staff Ratifies First Union Contract, Negotiated by Writers Guild

    Staffers at Vox Media, which includes Curbed, Eater, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Verge and Vox.com, have ratified their first collective bargaining agreement with more than 90% in support. The staffers are represented by the Writers Guild of America East. Vox Media’s 350-member unit began bargaining their first contract in April 2018. The campaign to [...]

  • Joslyn Davis, Lily-Marston - Shared Media

    Clevver’s Joslyn Davis, Lily Marston Launch Their Own YouTube Media Venture (EXCLUSIVE)

    Here’s the latest chapter in the saga of Clevver, the entertainment/lifestyle YouTube network marooned by the shuttering of former parent Defy Media and subsequently snapped up by Hearst Magazines. Two of the principal creatives behind Clevver — Joslyn Davis and Lily Marston — together with Clevver Media co-founder Jorge Maldonado have launched Shared Media, their [...]

  • Money-Diaries-Refinery29

    Refinery29 to Produce Interactive Series Funded by Eko (EXCLUSIVE)

    Refinery29 has been bitten by the “Bandersnatch” bug. The millennial-female-focused digital media and entertainment company inked a pact with Eko, an interactive-video platform developer whose backers include Walmart, to produce several “choose-your-own-adventure”-style series based on Refinery29 content properties. The companies have started development on their first project: an interactive scripted adaptation of Refinery29’s popular “Money [...]

  • Dan Howell

    YouTube Star Dan Howell Comes Out as Gay: 'It Gets So Much Better'

    It’s Pride Month, and popular YouTube vlogger Dan Howell had a message for fans that he’d been working on for a year: “Basically, I’m Gay,” he shared in a video Thursday. In the 45-minute video, Howell discussed coming to terms with his sexual orientation and his thoughts on labels that people use to define themselves [...]

  • Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment

    Netflix Expands Korean Content Commitment as Industry Deepens

    Global streaming giant, Netflix is expanding its involvement in the Korean film and TV industries by greenlighting several new shows and renewing others. “When we started three years ago, we had a high degree of confidence that Korean drama would work well in Asia, but we had no internal metrics of our own,” Korean content [...]

  • Instagram Logo

    Instagram Outage: Facebook’s Photo Sharing Service Went Down For Multiple Hours

    Instagram faced another major outage Thursday afternoon, with users from around the world reporting that they weren’t able to access Facebook’s photo sharing service via its app and website. An Instagram spokesperson told Variety around 5pm PT that the issue had been resolved: “Earlier today, a technical issue caused some people to have trouble accessing [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content