Hulu has finalized a deal with NBCUniversal for carriage of 15 channels as part of its live TV service that will be unveiled soon. The deal covers NBCU-owned cable channels as well as NBC- and Telemundo-owned local stations.
“NBC Universal is home to many of today’s leading sports, news, entertainment and lifestyle networks – brands that not only draw large audiences but also drive pop culture,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins. “With this agreement in place, Hulu will soon provide an affordable, complete live TV package that includes all four major broadcast networks, the top-rated cable news channels, a massive sports offering and our deep existing premium streaming library for under $40.”
“We’re pleased to partner with Hulu to make NBCUniversal’s leading portfolio of entertainment, news and sports networks available on this new service,” stated Matt Bond, chairman NBCUniversal content distribution. “Growing our audiences is an important priority and this partnership will help bring our networks to new customers.”
Among the cable channels covered in the deal are USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, and NBCSN. The inclusion of owned-and-operated stations brings NBC and Telemundo feeds to Hulu in the largest markets, including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
The deal also provides a framework that affiliate NBC and Telemundo stations can opt into at a later date.
Hulu is set to reveal more details about its live-television streaming package, which now includes more than 50 channels, at its upfront presentation in New York. No launch date for the service has yet been set. The move will bring Hulu into a marketplace for so-called skinny bundles — broadband delivered packages of linear television channels that challenge traditional MVPD offerings — that has become crowded in a short amount of time. DirecTV, Dish, Sony PlayStation, and YouTube have already brought their skinny-bundle products to market. But those products have yet to catch fire with consumers. Industry estimates have pegged the total number of subscribers to all of those services at 1-2 million.