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Hulu nabs CBS shows for live-TV service

CBS's broadcast network joins the roster on Hulu's coming live-TV streaming service, expected to launch early this year.

Hulu's coming live-channel streaming TV service is expected to launch early this year.
Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Hulu

CBS will join Hulu's new live-streaming service, planned to launch early this year.

On Wednesday, the broadcast giant and the streaming-media company said they've reached a deal to bring CBS's broadcast network programs and some on-demand shows to the Hulu live-TV service.

(Disclosure: CNET is owned by CBS.)

Under the deal, Hulu will get the company's sports programming, including its NFL game broadcasts, and other live events like Grammys, as well as CBS Sports Network and POP, the entertainment channel CBS co-owns with Lionsgate. The deal has the potential to add more networks in the future, the companies said. CBS partly owns Smithsonian Channel and the CW.

Hulu is a joint venture by ABC parent Walt Disney, Fox owner 21st Century Fox and NBC parent Comcast. Time Warner -- whose channels include TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Turner Classic Movies -- bought a 10 percent stake in the streaming-TV company last August. CBS is the first major TV programmer that isn't an owner to sign on for the live-tv service.

The deal is a meaningful step toward Hulu's goal of widening into a full pay-TV replacement. The upcoming subscription service will stream live TV over the internet, setting it up to compete against Dish's Sling TV, Sony's Playstation Vue and AT&T's DirecTV Now. As more consumer shift their video viewing online, Hulu's is angling to be the go-to place for cord cutters and young people on the hunt for live television and on-demand options online.

The agreement also extends a pre-existing arrangement making CBS's Showtime an optional add-on subscription to Hulu customers for $9 a month.