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Hulu sets itself apart from DirecTV Now as it secures CBS for upcoming live TV service


Hulu announced today that it has signed a new agreement with CBS to carry content from America’s most-watched broadcast network including both on-demand and live programming. This news comes about a month after DirecTV Now launched without the major network, although CBS CEO Les Moonves has alluded that they’ll be able to figure something out.

After CBS launched its own paid service ‘CBS All-Access’ four months ago it seemed that other partnerships could be unlikely. AT&T’s DirecTV Now has given CBS’ high retransmission rates as the reason for not launching the service with CBS programming. However, it didn’t take too long for Hulu to come to a suitable agreement.

In today’s press release, Hulu shares that the new service will make CBS’ channels and most watched programs available for both live and on-demand viewing.

With the addition of the CBS channels, subscribers to Hulu’s new live service will have access to popular programming, including Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Big Brother, Blue Bloods and 60 Minutes, both live and on-demand.

To provide even more value, this new deal will also include CBS sports coverage, specials, and some paid offerings.

CBS’s preeminent sports programming, including the NFL on CBS (all preseason, regular and post-season games broadcast on CBS) and the NCAA DIVISION I MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP will also be offered on the new service, as well as news programming and specials, CBS’s leading late night shows and major annual live events such as The GRAMMYs®. In addition, the new deal extends Showtime Networks’ existing deal with Hulu in which SHOWTIME is offered as a premium subscription service to those customers who subscribe to Hulu’s live or SVOD service.

Hulu also recently announced other major additions, including exclusive Disney content.

The CBS deal follows Hulu’s recently announced agreements with 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company, which encompassed more than 35 top networks, including broadcast networks FOX and ABC; Fox Sports networks such as the Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and BTN; ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN 3; Fox Regional Sports Networks across dozens of key national markets; Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior; Fox News and Fox Business; Freeform; FX, FXX and FXM; and National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.

Hulu hasn’t released a firm date for their new live TV streaming service but said it will launch within the “coming months.” With all this news, no doubt the battle for next generation TV and media subscribers has ramped up to a new level.

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