Hulu is forging a new path in the streaming world with its recently launched live TV streaming service. For around $40 a month, Hulu live TV subscribers can access dozens of different live television streams. Networks included with the subscription are ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, TNT, CNN, E!, Travel, A&E, FX, and more. One of the big selling points of the service is that Hulu also streams local channels, including some local sporting broadcasts. However, there have been privacy concerns as well as availability issues with their local TV streams. In some local markets, certain network affiliates might be unavailable due to licensing issues. That means some Hulu live TV subscribers could miss out on local programming like sporting events. Luckily for them, Hulu and 20th Century Fox have just announced a deal to bring 40 more Fox affiliates to Hulu live TV.
Details about the agreement are still scarce, but The Wall Street Journal has reported that these Fox affiliates are from some of the largest local markets in the United States including Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Birmingham, Alabama. With these additions, Hulu now has live local Fox streams in over 70 different major markets.
While these local streams are surely appreciated for some sports fans who now have a way to stream sports broadcasts, the deal increases Fox’s already robust presence on Hulu, of which it is a 30% owner. Fox and Hulu already offer live streams of Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox-owned networks like National Geographic. By strengthening its presence on Hulu, Fox is beating many of the other networks to the live streaming table. With cable cutting and streaming ever on the rise, other networks should follow suit and find ways to adapt – or risk being left behind.
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