In another sign that operators are increasingly willing to bring over-the-top streaming services directly to their subscribers, Hulu has announced that it has reached agreements with five multichannel operators to offer Hulu’s subscription streaming service to their customers.
The five multichannel video programming distributors are Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom Communications, Midcontinent Communications and WideOpenWest (WOW!).
The customers will still have to pay for Hulu’s subscription service, which costs $7.99 a month.
But the agreements to make Hulu’s full range of live and on-demand content to their video and broadband subscribers on their advanced set-top boxes will make it easier for Hulu subscribers to view its programming without having to change inputs on their TV or hook up additional devices like Apple TV or Ruku to stream the shows.
“At Hulu, we believe users should have the ability to consume their favorite content, when, where and how they want,” said Tim Connolly, senior VP, distribution, Hulu. “We are very excited to partner with these MVPDs to bring Hulu to users where they are already watching TV.”
Joe Canavan, VP of product management and sales, at Atlantic Broadband noted in an interview that “this agreement is part of our push as a mid-sized operator to embrace over-the-top video as part of our core video offering.”
As part of that strategy, Atlantic Broadband had earlier inked a deal to include Netflix in their TiVo settop boxes.
Canavan declined to say how many TiVo boxes they’ve deployed but described their footprint as “a substantial penetration” and that a “good chunk” of their customers would be able to access Hulu if they subscribe to the streaming media service.
Unlike the Netflix agreement, Atlantic Broadband will be able to sell and market Hulu directly to its consumers.
No exact launch date has been set, but it is expected to happen in the next few months.
“We want to make sure we are integrating the over-the-top experience into their video experience so that they can have a one-box solution instead of many boxes,” he said.
“We believe that it is a key part of the industry’s future to not only offer apps on the settop box but to fully integrate them so that when a subscriber searches for Modern Family, they can see last night’s episode from their DVR, recent episodes from VOD and then be able to binge watch through Hulu,” he added. “This Hulu agreement is a good starting point for the cable industry to start offering and bundling these over-the-top services into their subscription package.”