Television is coming full circle.
For the past few years, TV broadcasters ABC, Fox, and NBC have been moving their programming online through streaming services like Hulu and Netflix. Now, cable TV providers are bringing some of that very same video-on-demand content to pay-TV.
Starting today (April 7), cable TV customers of New York-area cable operator Cablevision can watch Hulu through their Optimum TV set-top boxes, the company said. Cablevision, which is in the process of being acquired for $17.7 billion by the Netherlands-based telecommunications company Altice, is the first cable provider to offer Hulu as a pay-TV channel.
Optimum TV customers can now access Hulu content through an interactive program guide on TV channel 605. Those who already subscribe to Hulu, which has packages starting at $7.99 a month, can sign in through their TVs. And those without Hulu can sign up for a free trial, and then subscribe through their TVs or Optimum’s website.
Cablevision’s effort puts Hulu on par with premium networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz, even though some of Hulu’s content, excluding original programming, is already available through standard cable-TV bundles. The main draw for subscribers is being able to access Hulu’s massive library of content at their beck and call.
Cablevision’s Hulu channel is now available on current-generation set-top boxes in select service areas and will roll out across the company’s footprint over the next few weeks.