Hulu And Top Station Group Nexstar Set Carriage Deal For ABC Affiliates, Cable Network WGN America

Nexstar Media quarterly revenue surges on Tribune deal

Nexstar Media Group, the owner of the largest local station portfolio in the U.S. as well as cable channel WGN America has announced a carriage deal with Hulu.

The multi-year agreement, which takes effect January 19, will restore more than 20 Nexstar-owned ABC affiliates to Hulu + Live TV, the Disney-owned streaming package that has become the fifth-largest U.S. pay-TV operator. The local stations left the platform in October and have been replaced with ABC’s national feed.

WGN America, which recently joined two other streaming bundles, YouTube TV and FuboTV, will add more than 4 million Hulu homes on to its existing base of 75 million households. The network and dozens of Nexstar stations remain dark on Dish, in a bitter clash that flared up last month.

Nexstar took over WGN America in 2019 when it closed its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media. The network’s programming in the 2010s, which yielded prestige dramas like Underground, has shifted toward news. Nexstar last August debuted NewsNation, a three-hour nightly news block in primetime, billing it as a down-the-middle alternative in a daypart when opinion hosts prevail on cable.

“We are very pleased to reach an agreement with one of the country’s premier live TV streaming services and we’re looking forward to making our entertainment content and NewsNation available to 4 million new subscribers throughout the country,” said Sean Compton, president of Nexstar’s networks division.

The date of the Nexstar-Hulu deal is when the streaming service will bump up its price from $55 a month to $65 a month. In reporting fiscal fourth-quarter results in November, Disney said Hulu’s live service had gained 41% from the same period in 2019, reaching 4.1 million subscribers. Hulu as a company launched in 2007 and added the live offering in 2017.

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