Hulu May Provide Live Streams Of Broadcast And Cable Channels

Another blow is coming to overpriced cable providers, from one of the most popular streaming services available today. A new report indicates that Hulu is planning to provide a service that will allow users to live stream broadcast and cable channels along with the library of movies and TV shows that they already provide. Find out more about this potential new Hulu TV streaming option after the jump.

Hulu has not officially announced this new endeavor, but three executives with direct knowledge of the new service spoke to The Wall Street Journal (via The New York Times) about the development, which may be announced at Hulu's upfront presentation for advertisers this coming Wednesday.

The plan would be for Hulu to provide what is being called a "skinny bundle" of broadcast and cable channels. To begin with, it sounds like the package will specifically feature channels owned and operated by 21st Century Fox, The Walt Disney Company and Comcast's NBC Universal. That means broadcast networks like Fox, ABC and NBC will probably be on board, and cable channels like FX, ESPN and Freeform may be included as well.

Honestly, I'm surprised that Comcast's NBC Universal is getting on board with this plan since it could mean that many more of their customers will cut the cord from their pricey cable service. But perhaps this is just the natural evolution of how entertainment is provided, since the playing field has changed with the advent of streaming television programming over traditional cable subscriptions.

The live streams of these channels wouldn't be directly lifted from what you'll usually see on television, specifically with regards to advertising. Apparently the experience will be more personalized so that commercials can be more targeted to the specific users. The example given mentioned a cat owner seeing ads for cat food. That's not all that exciting for people who hate commercials in general, but it may be more effective for advertisers in the long run.

There's no name for the service just yet, but it's expected to be available early next year for an additional monthly fee. The exact cost hasn't been revealed, but details have pegged the service to cost about $40 a month. This new service from Hulu along with services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are a clear indicator that a big change in how live television is provided to users will change drastically in the next few years.

Personally, what I'd like is the opportunity to create custom channels that play select shows in the same way that a channel might. How cool would it be to have a channel composed of the cartoons you watched as a kid, or a channel that just airs episodes of your favorite comedy shows in a random order. That would take away the time-consuming practice of determining what to watch on Hulu or Netflix and would allow certain users to watch TV the old fashioned way but with more personalized programs.

This new service from Hulu isn't official yet, so we'll have to see if it even comes to fruition. But if true, this could be a real gamechanger for the future of television subscriptions.