Hulu has finally signed on the last of the big four broadcasters, announcing today that NBCUniversal’s broadcast and cable networks will be part of its upcoming live TV service.
The deal will provide live and on-demand streaming access to NBC, Telemundo, USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN and more, raising the channel total for Hulu’s live TV service to more than 50. The companies say the agreement also includes a “framework for licensing” NBC and Telemundo broadcast affiliates for Hulu’s live TV service.
“NBC Universal is home to many of today’s leading sports, news, entertainment and lifestyle networks—brands that not only draw large audiences but also drive pop culture,” said Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins in a statement. “With this agreement in place, Hulu will soon provide an affordable, complete live TV package that includes all four major broadcast networks, the top-rated cable news channels, a massive sports offering and our deep existing premium streaming library for under $40.”
Hulu has already signed content distribution deals with ABC/Disney, CBS, Fox, Time Warner and A+E Networks for its live TV service. The new service, which will coincide with a redesigned user interface for Hulu, is rumored to be launching this month. The product has been in beta testing for the past few months.
When Hulu’s live TV service does launch, it will compete directly against a number of other virtual MVPDs—including Sling TV, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue and FuboTV—that have already come to market. While Sling TV still starts at around $20 per month, more recent launches including YouTube TV and DirecTV Now start at $35 per month, closer to the price range for which Hulu is aiming.
With NBC, Hulu now has live TV streaming deals with all four major broadcasters, similar to the agreements YouTube TV has been able to reach. DirecTV Now has yet to come to terms with CBS. CBS CEO Les Moonves said he expects his company will reach a deal with DirecTV Now, but CBS has its own direct-to-consumer linear streaming product All Access to think about as well.