Cablevision buddies up with Hulu

The cable company's deal to distribute streaming service Hulu's content puts it on a streak of joining hands with online video ventures, often seen as the enemy of traditional pay TV.

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Hulu's $7.99-a-month subscription option, Hulu Plus, gives members earlier access to some shows and lets them watch on mobile devices. Hulu

Cablevision seems to be head over heels for "over the top."

The cable company agreed on Tuesday to distribute Hulu's catalog of on-demand video, which the streaming site currently delivers strictly via the Internet.

Cablevision indicated that Hulu's offering would be part of its "cord cutter" products, like a high-speed broadband package meant for people who like to watch video via the Internet, or in the parlance of the industry, over the top. Cablevision also operates a traditional pay-TV service and serves about 3 million total customers in the greater New York metropolitan area.

The deal puts Cablevision on a streak of embracing the consumer trend to watch more video online. Other providers have eyed streaming sites suspiciously as a possible cause for declines in pay-TV subscribers. As those subscribers drop and ratings on channels slide, some say viewership on sites like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube is draining demand for regular TV.

Last month, Cablevision agreed to launch HBO's online-only streaming service, HBO Now, through its Optimum Online Internet service. Last week, the cable company unveiled its cord-cutter connectivity packages, which combine high-speed broadband with an antenna to watch over-the-air broadcast networks.

However, partnering with Hulu and HBO on their over-the-top services is less threatening than reaching out to a service like Netflix, which is a purely online company. Hulu is owned by traditional TV giants Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast, through its NBC Universal arm. By striking deals with HBO Now and Hulu, Cablevision is still working with traditional TV programmers.

Tuesday, the companies didn't specify how Hulu would be integrated into Cablevision's service, saying in a statement that details on pricing and availability would be announced "in the near future." Cablevision and Hulu didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.