Hulu just inked a deal with NBCUniversal that will bring live coverage of NBC and Telemundo-owned stations to its live streaming service. The deal is a coup for Hulu, which, when it unveils its new service later this month, will offer the top four broadcast TV channels. Hulu previously made deals with CBS, Disney-ABC and Fox as well as USA, Syfy, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, CNBC, NBCSN, Sprout and others, for a total of 50 live TV channels. The new deal also allows Hulu to license NBC and Telemundo broadcast affiliates.
TechCrunch notes that when Hulu’s service debuts in mid-May, it will “have the full load of local channels in five or six major markets, but will add more local affiliates on a weekly basis as these further deals close.”
NBCU offers its slate of sitcoms and dramas. E! and Bravo offer entertainment lifestyle programs; MSNBC and CNBC bring news and Telemundo has Spanish-language programming. Sports fans will also have plentiful choices, including Sunday Night Football, the Olympics, NBCSN, Golf Channel and NBC regional sports in several markets.
When Hulu debuts its lives streaming service, it will face competition from AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue and YouTube TV. In addition to name recognition, says TechCrunch, Hulu will be the first to “combine an on-demand library of licensed TV and movie content … with its own original programming, as well as with a streaming TV service and the accompanying on-demand shows from its broadcast partners.”
Hulu’s other advantages are its ability to upsell existing customers and its under-$40 per month price. Hulu also plans to unveil “an upgraded experience.”
Other channels the new Hulu service will offer include A&E, History, Lifetime, LMN, FYI, Viceland, Freeform, FX, FXX, FXM, Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild, TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies.