Streaming service Hulu is set to launch a digital pay-TV platform in the first quarter of 2017. The service will allow paid subscribers to stream popular broadcast and cable tv channels online. Hulu currently provides an on-demand service to 10 million subscribers and consumers won’t need to be existing subscribers to sign up for the new service that is estimated to cost around $40 a month. (See also: The Economics of Hulu, Netflix, Redbox and Blockbuster.)
As a digital entrant into the field of live TV streaming, the main competitor Hulu will be facing is Dish Network Corp.’s (DISH) Sling TV that offers 30 channels for a fee of $20 a month. Sony Corp.'s (SNE) Playstation Vue channel offers bundles starting from $30 a month but is only available on PlayStation devices, iPads, iPhones, Amazon Fire TV devices and the Chromecast.
Hulu is a jointly owned by the Walt Disney Company (DIS), Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc.(FOXA) and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA). The Wall Street Journal reports that Walt Disney and Twenty-First Century Fox will be signing agreements to license their content for the platform, but there is no confirmation from Comcast about licensing its subsidiary NBC Universal’s channels. Amongst the channels set to be available are Disney’s ABC, ESPN and Disney Channel and Fox broadcast network’s Fox News, FX and Fox’s national and regional sports channels.