Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported that Hulu was close to signing deal that would include live streaming rights to Disney Channel, ESPN, FX, ABC, and Fox News. Today, CEO Mike Hopkins announced that Hulu will be bringing “live programming from broadcast and cable brands” in 2017.
According to The Verge, Hopkins directly addressed the WSJ report, though he declined to detail whether a rumored price hike (around $40 a month) would be part of the deal. However, a separate report from The New York Times said several executives familiar with the matter considered $40 a month to be about right, Discussions about whether the service will be commercial-free are still ongoing. Hopkins says more details about the service will be announced throughout the year. We’ve separately confirmed Hulu’s plans.
Hopkins also didn’t mention exactly what channels would be included, though seeing as Disney and 21st Century Fox are part owners of Hulu, the previously rumored channels make a lot of sense. The big addition would be ESPN, which is the one channel likely chaining people to their cable subscription. PlayStation Vue, Sony’s live-streaming TV package, only just added the channel this past March after the service had been available for a year.
So another live streaming player emerges to convert more cable junkies into cord cutters. But with some many piecemeal options, it seems like cord cutting is going to be no cheaper than the cable alternative.