Hulu Plans The Launch Of Live Channels

The online video destination, which is owned by ABC, Fox and NBC, is already a competitor to Netflix and Amazon Video. But this move would also put it in competition against Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue services.

ABC, the Disney Channel, ESPN, Fox, FX, Fox News and Fox’s sports channels are expected to be among the linear, live channels available on the service, which is expected to launch next year, according to a person close to the situation who was unable to speak publicly for the company.

The service would cost about $40 monthly, according to the  The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the development, citing people familiar with the situation.

Hulu currently charges $11.99 for a monthly commercial-free subscription and a $7.99 monthly fee for limited commercials and access to recently released movies. It also offers some content for free.

Its catalog includes Empire, Grey’s AnatomySeinfeld and South Park and original series such as Casual and The Mindy Project, which it picked up after Fox cancelled it last year.

The service, which started in 2008 and has nearly nine million subscribers, also counts Comcast’s NBCUniversal as a silent partner. As part of the cable-broadband company’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, regulators prohibited it from taking an active role in Hulu. That requirement ends in 2018.

A Hulu with live channels could be welcomed by millennials who do not subscribe to pay TV, but have become bingewatchers of streaming programs. “What Sling TV lacks is original shows and what Netflix doesn’t have is normal TV shows,” said Joel Espelien, senior analyst with research firm The Diffusion Group. “So Hulu can try to navigate a course between those two.”

Source Cowan: USA Today

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