Time Warner announced a $580 million investment in Hulu that will also bring Turner networks to the upcoming Hulu streaming channel line-up. The investment secures a 10% stake in Hulu, valuing the OTT provider at $5.8 billion. Time Warner joins The Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast as the primary shareholders in the Hulu OTT joint venture.
Time Warner will now make Turner networks available to the upcoming Hulu streaming channel line-up including TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, Boomerang and Turner Classic Movies. The new Hulu streaming OTT service is expected to debut early next year, competing with similar offers from Sling TV and Sony PlayStation Vue.
“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 Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner in a press release. ““We’re also excited to join Hulu’s other owners in launching a new consumer-friendly package featuring leading networks that will deliver more value to audiences and complement Hulu’s core SVOD offerings.”
The move illustrates the shift to a “new” pay-TV model, which emphasizes familiar cable-TV type offers, delivered across broadband networks. In fact, this new model is getting a little crowded. Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are already in place. This new Hulu streaming offer will join an upcoming offer from AT&T/DirecTV, DirecTV Now, providing a variety of OTT alternatives to the traditional “old” pay-TV model.
“This investment from Time Warner marks a major step for Hulu as we continue to redefine television for both consumers and advertisers,” said Mike Hopkins, CEO of Hulu in the press release. “Our two companies have long enjoyed a productive relationship – which includes the availability of past seasons of popular Turner shows on our current SVOD offerings – and we are very proud that Turner’s networks will be included in our planned live streaming service.”