It does certainly seem as though live TV is a big deal right now for businesses. Which in some respects seems counter-intuitive to the general notion that consumers are edging more towards cord cutting services. However, that only seems counter-intuitive at the superficial level as while consumers are moving towards alternative ways to consume TV content, they are still consuming TV content. Recently, we have seen a big move from AT&T to get in on the TV action and they are not the only ones.
Over the last few months it has become clear that Hulu sees live TV and an alternative to cable as a means to expand its business. In fact, back in July of this year reports came through detailing that Hulu was in the process of signing up the likes of ABC, ESPN & CBS to its TV service. Now, it seems more details are coming through on this as it has been announced today that Hulu has reached an agreement with Twenty-first Century Fox and Walt Disney Co to include their programming.
The inclusion of Disney does mean that Hulu will be able to include the likes of ABC and ESPN, who are owned by Disney. Likewise, the agreement with Fox means that content from news, entertainment and sports will all also be included in the upcoming TV service, which is largely expected to launch in the early part of next year. In fact, as part of the announcement today from Hulu on the agreement, Hulu is confirming that upwards of 35 networks will now be included due to the deal with Fox and Disney. While some of these will be derivatives of the same network (for instance, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN3, as well as Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2), also included will be FOX, ABC, BTN, Disney Channel, Fox News, Fox Business; Freeform; FX, National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.
So in all it does seem as though this particular deal with Fox and Disney does bring with it a number of viewing options for potentials users of the upcoming service. However, with details still light on the actual service and what the likely cost will be, it remains to be seen how competitive the service will be. Especially given that other companies like AT&T will be pushing hard with their alternative live TV services. In the case of AT&T, up to 100 channels for only $35 per month.