Hulu, one of the companies racing to provide television packages that compete with traditional cable networks, on Wednesday finalized an agreement to offer CBS’ sports and entertainment programming.
Hulu’s competitors, notably Dish Network’s SlingTV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, do not offer CBS programming on their television services.
Hulu is owned in part by the Walt Disney Co. of Burbank and NBCUniversal, whose West Coast headquarters is in Universal City.
Under the deal, Hulu obtains licensing rights to the CBS broadcasting network, CBS Sports Network and Pop, a popular culture cable channel co-owned by CBS and Lionsgate Entertainment Corp., for distribution on the video provider’s yet-unnamed live-streaming service. The agreement includes the option to add CBS channels in the future and extends Hulu’s access to CBS’ premium network Showtime, which is currently available to subscribers of Hulu’s on-demand service for an additional $8.99 a month.
Left out of the deal were distribution rights to full seasons of popular CBS shows such as “NCIS,” which are offered exclusively through the network’s own subscription service CBS All Access. Hulu’s live TV customers will instead receive on-demand access to a few recent episodes of such programs, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
Hulu expects to launch its live-streaming service within the next few months, according to a statement from the company. A subscription will cost “under $40,” Chief Executive Mike Hopkins has said, and will include programming from Disney, 21st Century Fox and Time Warner Inc. in addition to CBS.
CBS is expected to earn $3 per subscription when the service debuts but could make more than $4 per subscription in the long run, the Wall Street Journal said. The network presently charges its traditional cable and satellite distributors about $2 per monthly subscriber.
Hulu announced the agreement after the market closed Wednesday. Shares of Disney (DIS) rose $1.36, or about 1.3 percent, to close at $107.44 on the New York Stock Exchange.