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Hulu's Live Streaming TV Service Will Offer Content from CBS


While CBS recently made an agreement with Hulu for its live TV service, the network is holding back access to specialty channels like the CW.

Hulu Chief Executive Mike Hopkins, speaking at an investor conference in Las Vegas, said the live-streaming package will be priced at under $40 per month, putting it in competition with DirecTV Go, which offers a tier of TV channels for $35 a month.

It has now added the highest-rating U.S. network and its shows including Big Bang Theory to the service, which will cost less than US$40 per month, and has the option to add the network's Smithsonian Channel and The CW Network in the future.

Additionally, Hopkins said the new Hulu service, unlike DirecTV Now, would provide a DVR-type function, allowing viewers to record shows to play them later.

Sports programming, including NFL football and NCAA championship series basketball games, will be included in the CBS network stream.

Hulu is a joint venture by ABC parent Walt Disney, Fox owner 21st Century Fox and NBC parent Comcast.

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Hopkins did not give an estimated release date for Hulu's live TV service, but more information is expected soon.

According to the Wall Street Journal, CBS and Hulu are in talks to add CBS's broadcast network and some cable channels to the bundle. He added that live TV couldn't just be build "on top of our existing interface".

For years, CBS had been the lone holdout among major TV broadcasters to do business with Hulu. There are already several live TV services available, including Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now.

In addition, subscribers will get all National Football League preseason, regular and post-season games broadcast on CBS, and the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball championship.

CBS's pact with Hulu shows that at least for now the network is finding a way to have its cake and eat it, too-striking deals with distributors while maintaining a stand-alone streaming service with some 1.2 million subscribers.

As a complement to the company's current ad-supported and ad-free subscription video on demand products, Hulu's new service will offer subscribers the most valuable, premium live TV offering on the market in a groundbreaking, new user experience.

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