Hulu may be prepping a new online service aimed at cord-cutting consumers.
The company, which already provides a video-on-demand service, plans to launch a new subscription service that would stream network and cable TV content, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the plans. Hoping to roll out the new service during the first quarter of 2017, Hulu has already been chatting with different providers about offering their content, the Journal added.
Walt Disney and 21st Century Fox, which are co-owners of Hulu, are reportedly close to signing deals to add many of their channels to the service. Disney would likely serve up ABC, ESPN and the Disney Channel, while Fox would provide Fox News, FX and its various national and local sports channels. Comcast, which also owns Hulu, hasn't yet jumped on board.
People are increasingly cutting the cord, moving away from expensive pay-TV subscription packages and turning to online services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. More companies, including Dish Network with its $20 Sling TV and Sony with its $30-$40 PlayStation Vue, are trying to capitalize on the trend by offering "skinny" TV packages that provide popular channels at budget-friendly prices.
Hulu already has a huge potential audience with the more than 9 million people who subscribe to its current streaming service. However, customers wouldn't need to be existing Hulu subscribers to register for the new service.
No price has been set for the service, but Sanford C. Bernstein media analyst Todd Juenger said it would probably cost around $40 a month, the Journal reported. An executive close to Hulu told the Journal that number was "in the ballpark."
For that $40-a-month price tag, you'd be able to watch shows live and on demand. An online digital video recorder would probably be included in the subscription so you could watch past programs of your favorite shows. You'd also have to sit through targeted ads.
Hulu did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.