Hulu ‘very, very focused’ on avoiding DirecTV Now-like bugs, Fox's Murdoch says

Fox co-owns Hulu with Disney, NBCUniversal and Time Warner Inc.

As it readies its virtual MVPD service for launch, Hulu remains “very, very focused” on avoiding the kinds of technical miscues that have plagued the launches of previously hoisted v-MVPD services DirecTV Now and Sling TV.

So said 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, who was discussing the issue of livestreaming with investors earlier this week during his conglomerate’s quarterly earnings call. 

Fox co-owns Hulu with Disney, NBCUniversal and Time Warner Inc. Murdoch described Fox’s engineering teams as working closely with Hulu’s on the launch of the live service.

“We’ve seen really good progress in terms of our ability to stream concurrent streams of live sports,” Murdoch said. “You never rule out teething problems and I think it’s instructive—or it’s worthwhile kind of just mentioning that some of these problems in streaming, particularly concurrent live events when everyone’s logging in at the same second, it’s non-trivial.”

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AT&T officials have said that DirecTV Now has experienced an “expected” level of bugs since the platform launched Nov. 30. The tech press, however, has ravaged the operator’s reputation, with the Boy Genius Report labeling DirecTV Now “seriously broken” in mid-January. 

For his part, Murdoch said Fox’s experience streaming live sports is a useful advantage that should put Hulu ahead of the curve. Of course, it doesn’t bode well that the company’s livestream of FOX’s broadcast feed for Super Bowl LI Sunday broke down temporarily during the fourth quarter. 

Murdoch told investors that Fox will soon be rolling out new versions of authenticated apps for Fox Now, FX Now and Fox Sports Go.