Hulu has signed a carriage deal with CBS for its forthcoming skinny bundle of live cable channels, which the streaming company first confirmed at last year’s NewFronts. Hulu will carry CBS Sports Network and Pop, according to The Wall Street Journal, with options for the Smithsonian Channel and CW Network in the future, as well as Showtime as a paid add-on. The new service will also include a cloud-based digital video recorder.
CBS is initially being paid $3 monthly per subscriber, according to the Journal, and Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said the as-yet-unnamed service will be priced under $40 — including the skinny bundle as well as Hulu’s existing on-demand library, which currently costs subscribers $11.99 for no commercials and $7.99 for limited commercials. Although new CBS shows will air live on Hulu, they will not be available on-demand, according to the Journal, and — except for a few recent episodes — will remain exclusive to CBS’s own All Access streaming service.
Hulu has already signed Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Time Warner — each of which owns a stake in the service — to the upcoming skinny bundle, and is currently in talks with NBCUniversal, which also owns a 30% stake in Hulu, the Journal reports.
Hulu currently counts 12 million subscribers and a library of exclusive shows including Seinfeld. Hulu recently inked a deal to add roughly 50 Disney films to its ever-growing library, including Mulan, Pocahontas, Con Air, and The Mighty Ducks.
Hopkins has said that the company’s forthcoming skinny bundle will be more “intuitive” and “personalized” than traditional TV, and, in this vein, Hulu acquired video content database The Video Genome Project (VGP) in November to bolster its recommendation engine.