Hulu and NBCUniversal have struck a new deal that will bring NBC and Telemundo stations as well as NBCU’s cable networks to Hulu’s new live streaming service that is eyeing a spring launch. The distribution agreement is for live and on-demand streaming access to NBC, Telemundo, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC and NBCSN, among others.
The companies said the agreement includes a framework for licensing the NBC and Telemundo broadcast affiliates for carriage on Hulu’s live service, which now counts more than 50 channels in its lineup. It has struck similar deals with A+E Networks and CBS Corp.
All eyes are on Hulu’s service because — unlike rivals including AT&T’s DirecTV Now and Dish Network’s Sling TV — it is being provided directly by programmers. (Hulu is owned by, and will include channels from, Fox, Disney and Time Warner’s Turner Networks.) Execs showed off its slick user interface this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins has said that the live streaming service will cost less than $40 a month, a price that will include the current $8 SVOD product. It also will have what he describes as a “world-class cloud DVR service.”
“NBCUniversal 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 Hopkins in announcing today’s deal. “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.”
Added NBCUniversal Content Distribution chairman Matt Bond: “We’re pleased to partner with Hulu to make NBCUniversal’s leading portfolio of entertainment, news and sports networks available on this new service. Growing our audiences is an important priority and this partnership will help bring our networks to new customers.”