Hulu's forthcoming live TV streaming bundle just became an even more appealing proposition with the announcement Tuesday that CBS content will be part of the package. Soon, for the first time, you'll be able to watch shows like NCIS and The Big Bang Theory on Hulu.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the deal during a presentation at Citi's 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference on Wednesday in Las Vegas. The live-streaming service, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of this year, will now include live streaming of CBS and some CBS Corp.-owned channels — including CBS Sports, POP and, at an additional cost, Showtime. They join a suite of networks owned by Hulu's parent companies Disney, Fox and Time Warner, which includes Fox, ABC, ESPN, FX and many others. The CBS deal includes an option to start streaming The CW, which CBS co-owns with Time Warner, at a later date. A deal with another of Hulu's parent companies, Comcast, which owns NBC, is in the works.
CBS has been absent from Hulu's on-demand service since the product's launch in 2007. Instead, CBS has its own streaming service, CBS All Access. CBS All Access will likely remain the exclusive online home for full seasons of CBS shows, as well as upcoming original content such as Star Trek: Discovery and The Good Fight. Hulu's live-streaming service will have CBS episodes live as they air and a limited selection of recent episodes.
Hulu's streaming service will present another alternative to cable TV, allowing customers to livestream what's airing on a given network as if they were watching over-the-air television. Hopkins says that the service will cost less than $40 a month and will include Hulu's already-existing on-demand service and a cloud DVR.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS.)