Time Warner buys 10% stake in Hulu, will offer live streams of TNT, TBS, CNN, more
Time Warner's Turner networks — including TNT and TBS — will be available in live streaming form on Hulu in early 2017, thanks to a $583 million deal between the two companies.
The deal gives Time Warner a 10 percent stake in Hulu, valuing the streaming service at about $5.8 billion. Though Hulu is mostly known as a home for on-demand content, the new deal will bring TNT, TBS, CNN, Turner Classic Movies, TruTV, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang live streams to the service.
Already stakeholders in Hulu are a number of major media companies: Disney, Fox, and Comcast. The addition of Turner networks will come alongside an "intuitive and personalized interface" that will offer both live and on-demand content across a range of devices — Â Hulu is available on both iOS and Apple TV.
"Our investment in Hulu underscores Time Warner's commitment to supporting and developing new platforms for the delivery of high-quality content and great consumer experiences to audiences around the globe," said Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Bewekes.
Pricing for the new live streaming channels remains unknown. Hulu currently charges $7.99 a month for content with limited commercials, or commercial-free access at $11.99 per month.
Hulu first confirmed back in May that it planned to launch a live TV streaming service in early 2017. With Wednesday's announcement, Time Warner's Turner networks are the first to sign on for that new service.
Rumors have suggested that both Disney and Fox could be on board as well, but no such announcements have been made.
Apple, meanwhile, has been working behind the scenes to create its own live TV subscription service, but it has failed to forge deals with content owners. Even Apple's closest media partner, Disney, is said to have balked when the company pitched an offer seen as lowballing.
This week, Time Warner's CEO also talked about rumors of a potential takeover by Apple, but dismissed those claims as not "serious." Bewkes said that talks between Time Warner and Apple were mostly about technology and user interface improvements.
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