Hulu is launching a live TV service next year, and it has just teamed up with 21st Century Fox and Disney to deliver more than 35 TV channels.
With the new deals, Hulu's upcoming live TV service will offer Fox's news, sports, entertainment and other treats, as well as Disney's trove of networks from Disney, ESPN and ABC Television Group.
For cord cutters, this means that they will get two top broadcast networks, Fox and ABC, on Hulu's live TV service. Hulu will likely add more and its skinny bundle is starting to look interesting.
Getting ESPN on board is particularly noteworthy considering the competitive live TV scene that's already getting crowded and heated up. Hulu will have to face notable rivals such as PlayStation Vue, Sling TV, and AT&Ts newly announced DirectTV Now.
Sling TV made waves when it first launched since it was the only way for cord cutters to access ESPN content. The scene has since changed and Sling TV is no longer the only one to offer ESPN without a cable or satellite TV subscription, but it's nonetheless an important achievement for Hulu to get ESPN and ABC as well.
Hulu's lineup of programming will be available to stream live and on demand through its upcoming live TV streaming service set to debut early next year.
"We're building a service that offers subscribers the most sought-after programming on television — and channels from 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are essential to that mix," says Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.
More partners will join the fray in the future as Hulu aims to deliver a flexible, highly personalized experience with its upcoming TV streaming service.
The new deals with Fox and Disney come on top of the agreement Hulu reached with Time Warner back in August, getting a green light to stream live and on-demand programming including TNT, CNN, TBS, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, truTV and Turner Classic Movies.
With similar deals in place, it doesn't seem like live TV services will compete against each other in terms of programming and content. In this case, it will likely be an interesting race between rivals scrambling to offer the best prices and most attractive offers for simultaneous streams, multi-platform support and other such factors.
AT&T might get a notable edge thanks to ties to its cellular network, offering perks such as streams that don't count against data usage for AT&T customers.
It remains to be seen how things will turn out in the end, but it's already looking quite exciting for cord cutters.
Photo: Garrett Heath | Flickr