Hulu has signed on Disney and 21st Century Fox for its upcoming live TV streaming service, which will launch in early 2017.
The deal will add Fox’s entertainment, news, sports and non-fiction services and Disney’s portfolio of networks from Disney/ABC Television Group and ESPN Inc. to the lineup. In all, Hulu just added to its imminent service 35 networks including ABC and Fox broadcast networks as well as Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and BTN; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN 3; Fox Regional Sports Networks across dozens of national markets; Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior; Fox News and Fox Business; Freeform; FX, FXX and FXM; and National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.
“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,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu, in a statement. “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.”
Disney and Fox join Time Warner, which has already signed up for Hulu’s streaming service and will offer sports and networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies.
ABC/Disney and Fox, of course, are part owners of Hulu along with NBCUniversal and Time Warner. Hulu has yet to announce deals with NBCU or CBS for its live TV service but early reports have suggested those networks will likely be a part of it. Early reports also pointed toward a $35 price point, which matches the price AT&T has set for its DirecTV Now service launching this month.
CBS, though, has been linked to reports regarding Google’s YouTube-based Unplugged service, which will also offer live TV via the internet. And CBS has already set up a well-established direct-to-consumer offering, CBS All Access, which has amassed 1 million subscribers.