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Streaming video services make up a very competitive market nowadays, with companies like Netflix and Amazon investing a lot of time and money in expanding their libraries of original series. Hulu has its share of originals as well, but it's looking to gain an edge on competitors by launching a live streaming service for a monthly fee. Now, Hulu has announced deals with 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company that will bring some popular channels to its new streaming package.
The affiliate agreements with 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company mean that Hulu will be able to offer a wide variety of channels as part of the subscription package. Thanks to the two companies coming on board, subscribers will have Hulu streaming access to Fox, ABC, Fox sports networks, the ESPN networks, Fox regional sports networks, FX, FXX, Fox News, Fox Business, National Geographic, Nat Geo Wild, Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior. These new deals follow the Hulu affiliate agreement with Time Warner Inc., which will make TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang, and Turner Classic Movies available as well. All in all, Hulu has more than 35 networks signed on to stream live when the service hits the web in 2017. Subscribers will get a lot of bang for their buck.
Unfortunately, the wide variety of channels to be available streaming won't come without a price. Hulu hasn't yet confirmed how much a live streaming package would cost, but it will reportedly charge a monthly subscription rate, similar to current Hulu packages. A current estimate for the live streaming option is approximately $40 per month, which could be a lot for some to want to pay on a regular basis.
The live streaming aspect to Hulu service will put it in a different league than Netflix and Amazon. Its most direct competitor would be Sling TV, which offers live streaming packages for only $20 per month. Sling TV currently offers 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company programming as well as content from A&E, AMC, and others. Subscribers can also pay extra for packages including more kids or sports offerings than are attached to the regular package. The lower price for Sling TV could mean that Hulu will have a tough time attracting an audience for a higher monthly rate.
That said, Hulu will have a library of originals to offer in addition to the live streaming channels. New episodes of shows like 11.22.63 and The Mindy Project can't be found on any of Sling TV's channels. Hulu isn't as renowned for its originals as Netflix and Amazon, but it may still have enough appeal that folks will be more inclined to shell out $40 for Hulu than $20 for Sling TV.