Hulu’s Live-TV Streaming Service Would Compete With Co-Owner Comcast

The Hulu streaming video service is co-owned by Disney (ABC), Fox, and Comcast (NBC), and — not surprisingly — it has a record of playing nice with its broadcast TV overlords. But a possible pivot into the live-TV streaming market would put Hulu in competition with Comcast.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hulu is inching closer to offering a service that would appeal to cord-cutters by offering them access to live streams of broadcast and cable channels, similar to what’s already offered by Dish Network’s Sling TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue.

All three of Hulu’s owners have been amenable to some of their networks showing up on these other services. Disney’s ESPN was a major selling point for Sling when it launched, and Fox recently became part of the Sling family in a new tier that includes both multiple simultaneous streams and access to some local network TV; Disney is not part of that offering. NBC and Fox were part of Vue at launch, with Disney’s ABC coming later to the party.

The Journal says that both Disney and Fox are close to making deals that would license their content for streaming on this new offering from Hulu.

But not Comcast. While the company is a silent partner in Hulu — a condition of Comcast’s 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal — it may be reluctant to be a part owner in a platform that competes directly with its cable TV service.

Hulu has yet to give the planned live-TV service a name or a price point, though analysts say $40/month seems most likely.

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