CBS joins Hulu's over the top live streaming service

Unlike its rivals' announced services, Hopkins said Hulu can undercharge competitors because it also operates an $8 per month on-demand service featuring the past seasons of current shows including hits such as AMC Networks' (AMCX) The Walking Dead. The streaming service hopes to offer a more personalized, intuitive version of cable TV than that offered by traditional pay-TV distributors and even newer streaming entrants.

If you're going to launch a TV bundle, "you have to have the best content", Hopkins said on the morning of January 4 at the Citi Internet, Media & Telecommunications conference. 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.

CBS Corp.is nearing a deal to license its broadcast network and some cable channels for Hulu's forthcoming cable-style, live-streaming service, people familiar with the matter said. 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.

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Hulu has been putting the pieces in place for its live TV bundle since last spring, when it first announced its plans. CBS will bring in more than $3 per monthly subscriber initially for its channels, according to the Wall Street Journal, with increases in later years of the deal that could top $4. "You're going to try each of these out", Hopkins acknowledged.

Under the deal, Hulu will get the company's sports programming, including its National Football League game broadcasts, and other live events like Grammys, as well as CBS Sports Network and POP, the entertainment channel CBS co-owns with Lionsgate. 21st Century Fox (FOXA) and Time Warner (TWX) - which all have a stake in Hulu, along with Comcast (CMCSA) unit NBCUniversal - have struck deals to live-stream shows on Hulu.

DirecTV Now beat Hulu out of the gate, though that service's buggy launch on November 30 turned off some potential subscribers. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has been at the forefront of entertainment and technology and continues to redefine TV by connecting viewers with the stories they love. The deal has the potential to add more networks in the future, the companies said.

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There may be one problem with Hulu's announcement.

The company hasn't quite ironed out an exact price point, but Hopkins says that the final price will clock in at under $40, and will be the service's regular price, not a promotional price that goes up after a short period of time.

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