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Hulu is preparing to launch a live TV service, which will compete
with cable and be priced at “under” $40 per month.
The service will work much like a regular cable or satellite TV
package, except that it will be delivered over the internet to
your smart TV, phone, tablet, and so on. It will also be
“sports-centric,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins revealed in a new
interview with Adweek.
Hulu has already signed up CBS for its upcoming service, which is
significant given that competitors like Dish’s Sling and
AT&T’s DirecTV Now still haven’t gotten CBS to agree to a
deal. And one big reason, according to Hopkins, is because Hulu
wants its live offering to nail sports.
Here’s what Hopkins said about CBS:
“CBS has the No. 1 network [in ages] 18-54, and they have a lot
of really great programming. We’re going to make this a
sports-centric offering, and if you’re going to make that part of
your package, you have to have NFL, you have to have the complete
March Madness package and all of the other great sports that they
have. We thought it would be important to have the big four
broadcasters, and CBS certainly rounds that package out for us.”
Sports could be a key battleground for Hulu as the streaming TV
market heats up, with Google and Amazon rumored to be working on
their own packages.
In May of last year, Citi analysts
argued that web delivery would “dramatically increase the
value of sports content,” as consumers get things like player
profiles, game highlights, custom angles, and archival footage.
Hulu could capitalize on this if it can be the streaming service
that helps define what young cord-cutters want from a sports
Hulu has also said that its new service will integrate its
existing $7.99-per-month on-demand video library into the mix, at
no extra cost, as well as cloud DVR capabilities.
The big questions going into the launch will be the full channel
lineup and technical performance. AT&T’s DirecTV Now has been
swamped by technical complaints and outages since it launched in
late November, and Dish’s Sling TV has had its own host of tech