Hulu makes a deal with Fox, Disney: Shaping up to be big live TV presence?

Programming from networks like ABC, Fox, and FX will be part of a planned live streaming service from Hulu. These acquisitions may make Hulu a major presence in the live TV world.

Dan Goodman/AP
The Hulu logo appears on a window at the Milk Studios space in New York. Hulu has acquired more programming for its planned live streaming service.

Two more content providers have come on board for a live streaming service that Hulu is working on for 2017. 

Fox and Disney, owner of the ABC TV network, have signed on to provide their programming for the live streaming service that will be launched by Hulu in 2017. In addition to ABC and Fox programming, shows from Disney Junior, Freeform, National Geographic, and FX, among others, will be made available through the deal. 

Programming from TBS and TNT, among others, had already been announced for the live service.

Disney and Fox are currently two of the owners of the streaming service Hulu, which already offers network programming on its service as well as original programs like “Casual” and “The Mindy Project.” 

Industry watchers seem to think this live service will be a key part of the TV business. Fortune writer Tom Huddleston Jr. called the deal with Fox and ABC “a major step [for Hulu] toward becoming a premiere live-TV streaming service … Hulu is ensuring it will be a major player in a crowded field vying for cord-cutters.”

And Alexandra Burlacu of Tech Times wrote, “[Hulu’s] skinny bundle is starting to look interesting,” referencing a plan in which TV watchers opt for fewer channels rather than purchasing a normal cable package. 

Ms. Burlacu noted that “getting ESPN on board is particularly noteworthy considering the competitive live TV scene that's already getting crowded.” Sports are always big business on TV. 

“It doesn't seem like live TV services will compete against each other in terms of programming and content,” Burlacu continued. “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.” 

Hulu is scheduled to launch this live service near the beginning of 2017.

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