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Hulu joins with CBS to carry live and on-demand programming

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By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

January 4, 2017 | 3 min read

CBS has been slow in releasing its programming to streaming and on-demand services. The top-watched broadcast network remains absent from some local cable on-demand options and it is also the only major network not to sign a programming agreement with AT&T for DirecTV Now. Instead, it directs viewers to sign up for its CBS All Access streaming option.

Hulu was able to break through, however, and the streaming television destination has announced a new agreement with CBS Corporation to carry CBS programming, including CBS Sports Network and POP channels. All networks in the deal will be available to stream live, with much of their programming available on-demand as well, through Hulu’s new multichannel, live TV streaming service, set to launch in the coming months, according to a release by CBS.

With the addition of the CBS channels, subscribers to Hulu’s new live service will have access to the network’s most popular programs, including the Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Big Brother, Blue Bloods and 60 Minutes, both live and on-demand, as well as news programming and specials, CBS’s leading late night shows and major annual live events such as The Grammys. Sports fans will now have access to the NFL on CBS, and the wildly popular NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. In addition, the new deal extends Showtime Networks’ existing deal with Hulu in which SHOWTIME is offered as a premium subscription service to those customers who subscribe to Hulu’s live or SVOD service.

The CBS deal follows Hulu’s recently announced agreements with 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company, which encompassed more than 35 top networks, including FOX, ABC, Fox Sports networks, ESPN channels, the Disney Channel, Fox News and Fox Business, Freeform, FX, and National Geographic.

“To build a successful live TV service, you have to have viewers’ favorite sports and shows – and CBS’ programming is absolutely vital to that mix. With 21st Century Fox, Disney, Turner and now CBS on board, our new live service will offer one of the most valuable sports, news and entertainment lineups anywhere,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu.

“We are very pleased to make CBS available on Hulu’s new live TV service,” said Ray Hopkins, president, television networks distribution, CBS Corporation. “Hulu has made it clear that it understands the value that the CBS Television Network, along with Showtime and our basic cable network portfolio, will bring to this new offering. In addition, today’s announcement represents another significant step in our strategy to deliver CBS’s industry leading content to viewers whenever and where ever they want to watch it, at terms that are consistent with the Company’s goals.”

Earlier this year, Hulu announced an affiliate agreement with Time Warner Inc. for live and on-demand streaming of Turner’s suite of popular entertainment, sports, news and kids’ networks including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies.

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