Hulu confirms it’ll launch live Internet TV service in 2017

Rumors? What rumors? Hulu this morning during its Newsfronts presentation said it will start streaming feeds from broadcast and cable nets in Q1 2017, making it the first SVOD company to offer live content and giving it a potential edge on rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The streamer will create a “deeply personalized experience” merging linear TV and on-demand video, said CEO Mike Hopkins.

“This means our viewers will be able to enjoy live sports, news and events…in real time without a traditional cable or satellite subscription,” said Hopkins.

Hulu is owned by Disney, Fox and Comcast, and likely will have live content initially from ABC, Fox and cable networks affiliated with Fox and Disney, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week. NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, also is likely to join the initiative, according to some published reports.

Earlier rumors suggested Hulu’s skinny bundle would come with a price tag of $40/mo., twice the price of Sling TV and in line with Sony’s PlayStation Vue service, which just expanded nationwide in March. Sling TV just announced a new package that replaces Disney content, including ESPN, with live content from Fox. Vue, meanwhile, has a broader array of networks, including live broadcast feeds from CBS, Fox, NBC and Telemundo.

Hulu’s latest move comes as rumors persist that Apple, Google and Amazon also have been weighing moving into the virtual MSO space.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn