Hulu confirms plans to launch live TV streaming in 2017

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in General Discussion
Just two days after the first rumors surfaced, Hulu on Wednesday confirmed that it will be launching a live TV streaming service sometime in 2017, creating a tougher competitive landscape for anything Apple might have planned.




Word came from CEO Mike Hopkins, speaking at today's Hulu Upfronts in New York, TechCrunch reported. The executive didn't offer many details, but promised the service would have channels from both broadcast and cable networks, including news and sports.

People will also have some access to on-demand content, Hopkins said. He didn't elaborate, however, on whether a live TV subscription would include the same catalog available to present-day Hulu subscribers.

Rumors have hinted that Hulu co-owners Disney and Fox will be the main content providers, with options including ABC, ESPN, and Disney Channel, plus Fox, Fox News, FX, and Fox's national and regional sports channels. Wall Street Journal sources indicated that another co-owner, NBCUniversal, hadn't agreed to license any channels, but Variety later said that "active negotiations" were in early stages. NBCUniversal could fill some critical gaps in Hulu's lineup, among them not just NBC itself but channels like MSNBC and Syfy.

More details will be revealed later in 2016, Hopkins added.

Pricing remains the biggest question. One Journal source suggested it would be close to $40 per month, but that might potentially kill interest given cheaper plans from Sling TV and Sony's PlayStation Vue, unless full on-demand content is attached.

Apple has allegedly been aiming at a service costing less than $30 per month, and could potentially launch it in September. Talks are thought to have stalled though, the main problem rumored to be providers refusing to exclude some channels from a "skinny" content bundle.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    dipdog3dipdog3 Posts: 88member
    If they really price it at $40, then they missed the bus.
  • Reply 2 of 19
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,297member
    Looks like YouTube is working on something too, stickler is they want to charge less than $35 buy are having trouble getting networks to buy in.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-04/youtube-said-to-plan-unplugged-online-tv-service-for-2017
  • Reply 3 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,003member
    Talk about vaporware! A full year away? That’s like half the age of the universe in tech terms.
  • Reply 4 of 19
    freerangefreerange Posts: 1,590member
    Not appealing at all. I have absolutely no need for fox or Disney, and $40 is absurd. I currently get HBO and showtime through Apple TV which is most of what I need other than my very basic cable bundle which is inexpensive.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,493member
    freerange said:
    Not appealing at all. I have absolutely no need for fox or Disney, and $40 is absurd. I currently get HBO and showtime through Apple TV which is most of what I need other than my very basic cable bundle which is inexpensive.
    You need to understand which channels Disney and Fox own. Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Disney for everything Disney owns or is a partner in. It's more than just the Disney channel. The same with 21st Century Fox, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_21st_Century_Fox. Some of these are already available on AppleTV. If all you watch is HBO and (maybe) broadcast channels, then that's fine. As for the $40, I'd need to know if that includes every Disney and Fox channel, including ESPN and Fox Sports, especially out of area sporting events (I won't hold my breath on that one). If that $40 also includes everything Hulu Plus already offers, then it might be even better and all Apple would need is a Hulu AppleTV app.
    mike1Rosyna
  • Reply 6 of 19
    RosynaRosyna Posts: 87member
    As NBCUniversal is Comcast, I strongly doubt they'll agree to this. But then again, Comcast channels (Syfy, USA, MSNBC) are on PlayStation Vue. Sadly, the Vue service is restricted to just a few devices (PS3, PS4, iOS devices, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick) with no Mac, PC, Android, Apple TV, or PS Vita support.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,598member
    For a person or family who watches a fair amount of varied TV including sports, hypothetically (all costs are ballpark)...

    Hulu OTA service - $40 (Covers ABC, Fox, and maybe NBC if they work out a deal)
    HBO or Showtime - $15
    CBS All Access (Does not partake in Hulu and assuming it doesn't) - $7.00
    Netflix or Amazon Prime - $15.00 or so
    Local Sports network not covered by Disney or Fox - $15 maybe

    We're up to about $90/mo and that doesn't include other popular cable channels like TBS, TNT, AMC, History etc.

    Not seeing how this winds up being a good deal for many people. Of course, some people watch next to nothing and wouldn't spend this much. Plus the user experience of finding and switching between different apps leaves a lot to be desired. Although universal search is getting better. I can see why Apple would stay out until there was a cost or user experience reason to cut the cord.

    palomine
  • Reply 8 of 19
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    Just two days after the first rumors surfaced, Hulu on Wednesday confirmed that it will be launching a live TV streaming service sometime in 2017, creating a tougher competitive landscape for anything Apple might have planned.
    How does this create a "tougher competitive landscape..."? Competition is good, right? Or did you mean "greed is good" in the Gordon Gecko sense?
  • Reply 9 of 19
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    mike1 said:
    For a person or family who watches a fair amount of varied TV including sports, hypothetically (all costs are ballpark)...

    Hulu OTA service - $40 (Covers ABC, Fox, and maybe NBC if they work out a deal)
    HBO or Showtime - $15
    CBS All Access (Does not partake in Hulu and assuming it doesn't) - $7.00
    Netflix or Amazon Prime - $15.00 or so
    Local Sports network not covered by Disney or Fox - $15 maybe

    We're up to about $90/mo and that doesn't include other popular cable channels like TBS, TNT, AMC, History etc.

    Not seeing how this winds up being a good deal for many people. Of course, some people watch next to nothing and wouldn't spend this much. Plus the user experience of finding and switching between different apps leaves a lot to be desired. Although universal search is getting better. I can see why Apple would stay out until there was a cost or user experience reason to cut the cord.
    Pretty much says it.  For someone who lives by themselves with a fairly narrow programming requirement, these emerging on-line services can enable them to cut the "Pay TV" (cable/sat/teclo) cord - Netflix + HBO + standalone sports package (MLB, NHL, etc) + iTunes for leftovers - and still save money.  But for most families, or someone with diverse programming interests, the current 3-play bundles tend to have reasonable value (note: provided you ensure you call up & say you are leaving about once every 6-12 months to get all of the real promotions:) - ~$150 all in for good TV packages with sports & HBO/Showtime + Internet + Phone.
    mike1
  • Reply 10 of 19
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member
    eightzero said:
    Just two days after the first rumors surfaced, Hulu on Wednesday confirmed that it will be launching a live TV streaming service sometime in 2017, creating a tougher competitive landscape for anything Apple might have planned.
    How does this create a "tougher competitive landscape..."? Competition is good, right? Or did you mean "greed is good" in the Gordon Gecko sense?
    Sounds like you're just having trouble understanding what the phrase "tougher competitive landscape" means. (?)
  • Reply 11 of 19
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,610member
    bobschlob said:
    eightzero said:
    How does this create a "tougher competitive landscape..."? Competition is good, right? Or did you mean "greed is good" in the Gordon Gecko sense?
    Sounds like you're just having trouble understanding what the phrase "tougher competitive landscape" means. (?)
    I am. Can you explain it? Please use small words...I'm not real bright. TIA.
  • Reply 12 of 19
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,523member
    Right now, I'm happy with Netflix, iTunes (for new movies) and the couple of channels I watch occasionally, and then only on on-demand.  I rarely watch anything on TV on their schedule, I just stream it later when I can watch it.

    I'm paying $110/mo for Comcast. Considering I rarely watch TV, I'm being robbed.  $7 for Netflix and the occasional iTunes movie rental is what I prefer.  Give me that excuse to cut cable altogether.  I'm so ready for it.
  • Reply 13 of 19
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,506member
    To stop cord cutting bleeding, $40-$50 Ala-carte is medicine. OR multiple skinny bundles with local channels between $20-$40. Than, customer can go get Netflix or Amazon prime or whatever their needs are. Whole point of cord cutting is cable monthly cost went up for TV package where significant channels in subscription useless ofr most people and quality went down. Moreover, people are mobile and want to watch anywhere,anytime. $40 seems sweet spot for skinny package with local channels.
  • Reply 14 of 19
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,003member
    When has Apple EVER announced a product that would ship over a year later?
  • Reply 15 of 19
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,247member
    rob53 said:
    freerange said:
    Not appealing at all. I have absolutely no need for fox or Disney, and $40 is absurd. I currently get HBO and showtime through Apple TV which is most of what I need other than my very basic cable bundle which is inexpensive.
    You need to understand which channels Disney and Fox own. Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_Disney for everything Disney owns or is a partner in. It's more than just the Disney channel. The same with 21st Century Fox, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_assets_owned_by_21st_Century_Fox. Some of these are already available on AppleTV. If all you watch is HBO and (maybe) broadcast channels, then that's fine. As for the $40, I'd need to know if that includes every Disney and Fox channel, including ESPN and Fox Sports, especially out of area sporting events (I won't hold my breath on that one). If that $40 also includes everything Hulu Plus already offers, then it might be even better and all Apple would need is a Hulu AppleTV app.
    $40 is still outrageous even if it includes all those channels. You can get the select package on DirecTV for $50. The select package includes all those channels plus a ton more like AMC, Discovery Channel networks, etc. So far, all these live packages coming out do nothing for cord cutters. If you watch a variety of stuff like a lot of people, you will end up paying more than cable at these prices. 
  • Reply 16 of 19
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,828member
    My guess is Hulu is floating some prices just to gauge interest at the price point. If I was a betting man (I'm not) I'd go with $30 as the base rate when Hulu announces it. 
  • Reply 17 of 19
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,434moderator
    Rosyna said:
    As NBCUniversal is Comcast, I strongly doubt they'll agree to this.
    So is Hulu to an extent:

    http://recode.net/2016/05/01/disney-fox-hulu-comcast/

    "Disney and 21st Century Fox own two-thirds of Hulu and control its management. Comcast owns the other third of Hulu but doesn’t have a role in its management, because of rules Comcast agreed to follow when it bought NBCUniversal."

    The profit made through Hulu goes directly to these companies, which would probably explain the pricing and why they'd rather do this via Hulu than other cheaper services that they don't control. Cable companies manage to hide the cost of content in high cable bills. They need lots of revenue for leverage in content deals and acquisitions like buying Dreamworks recently:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-dreamworks-anim-m-a-comcast-idUSKCN0XP1XK

    If you had 30m subscribers with gross margin of 70%, to buy out Dreamworks for $3.8b, you'd need $5.4b revenue from 30m people = $15/month. Hulu only has 12 million subscribers and each big company involved only owns a portion of the income. Once they grow the subscriber base then the subscription prices can lower.

    The cable companies probably aren't against the idea of cable cutting as long as they can still make the same revenue. Being able to target more platforms with content allows them to expand their subscriber base, including internationally. People will still pay them for the internet connection. They just needed to do this in a way that protected their revenue.
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 18 of 19
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,138member
    Looks like YouTube is working on something too, stickler is they want to charge less than $35 buy are having trouble getting networks to buy in.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-04/youtube-said-to-plan-unplugged-online-tv-service-for-2017

    Sounds like a very similar issue Apple was having. They'll eventually cave when more and more people stop paying hundreds of dollars per month for TV. There is a solution to this, networks just don't like it because they can't rake in the cash like currently do. I'm kinda lucky in my situation because I only have .99¢/month for 150+ HD Digital Cable channels, but where I used to live I was paying a hell of a lot more than that, and all just to watch a few channels. 
  • Reply 19 of 19
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 177member
    Are you still going to have to sign in for each channel with your cable TV login? If so, they still haven't fixed a major issue.
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