This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but two of Hulu’s co-owners — Fox and Disney — have just reached agreements to offer their programming for the live streaming video service it plans to launch early next year.
The deals will provide Hulu with more than 35 networks, including ABC and Fox.
Disney will also offer ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN 3, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, and Freeform.
The lineup from Fox will include Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, BTN, Fox News, Fox Business, FX, FXX, FXM, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, and Fox Regional Sports Networks from what the company describes as “dozens of key national markets.”
“We’re building a service that offers subscribers the most sought-after programming on television — and channels from 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are essential to that mix,” Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins says. “With these two new deals in place, and additional partners to come, Hulu will soon give TV fans of all ages live and on-demand access to their favorite programs in a whole new, more flexible, highly personalized way.”
Hulu had previously reached a deal to offer Time Warner channels including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies.
Comcast also is a co-owned of Hulu.
Analysts are trying to figure out how much Hulu might cost if it carries a broad array of channels. It will compete with AT&T’s DirecTV Now, due to launch this month, which the company says will have more than 100 channels and cost just $35 a month — far less than a typical cable or satellite package.
Programmers can’t blithely give Hulu a price break. Their deals with major distributors including Comcast typically include so-called “most favored nations” terms that ensure the big traditional carriers pay the lowest price.
Hulu says that its planned service will offer “premium streaming entertainment…at an affordable price.”