Hulu today is expected to announce a carriage deal with CBS-owned network affiliates and channels for its planned live TV streaming service, writes The Wall Street Journal. (Hulu confirmed the report today in a press release.)
The newspaper says Hulu could ultimately give CBS more money per subscriber than the network currently gets from pay TV providers, perhaps a sign of how important the deal is to the streamer. CBS has yet to sign carriage deals with two other live streaming services, Sling TV and DIRECTV Now, and its addition would give Hulu an edge if that situation continues.
The agreement with Hulu would include CBS-owned affiliates and Showtime. Hulu would also get a later option to offer CW Network and The Smithsonian Channel.
Hulu has revealed few details of the live streaming service, although the company has said it expects to launch it in early 2017. There has been no pricing information and the only programming deals to date have been with Hulu’s co-owners, Fox, Disney, Time Warner and Comcast. (Update: Hulu said today that price for the live service will be under $40 a month and it will include the company’s current $7.99 a month video-on-demand service.)
The CBS deal could help it break any logjam that may be occurring with programming acquisition.
WSJ writes that the CBS deal would have some restrictions, though. Hulu live would only have the rights to show select episodes of CBS shows on demand. The network would retain the right to show entire seasons for its CBS All Access streaming service, which costs $5.99 a month.
— Phillip Swann