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August 4, 2016

Time Warner buys 10% stake in Hulu for $583m

News: The company will stream live TV content when Hulu starts its services next year.

By CBR Staff Writer

Time Warner has bought a 10% stake in Hulu for $583m. This values the web streaming company at around $5.8bn.

With this stake acquisition, several of Time Warner’s channels including TBS, CNN, Turner Classic Movies, TruTV, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and Boomerang could receive live streaming options on Hulu services.

Time Warner said that that the investment is part of its effort to offer innovative digital services, giving its customers alternative platform to access high quality content.

Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes said: “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.”

The stakeholders of Hulu include major media houses such as Disney, Fox and ComCast. Adding Turner networks could bring in an ‘intuitive and personalised interface’ where content could be watched in both live stream and on-demand across a range of devices. At present, Hulu is available on iOS, Apple TV and on Android Play Store.

According to News site Recode, Hulu has been losing hundreds of millions of dollars every year, as per an estimate, and originally wanted to sell at least a 25% stake to Time Warner.

Currently, Time Warner will not contribute any of its content to Hulu, but it will stream live TV services on Hulu platform next year when it starts its live streaming services.

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When Hulu starts its live streaming services, it will compete with traditional TV service providers Charter and Comcast.

Bewkes said: “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 inclusion of Turner’s networks in Hulu’s new streaming service furthers our efforts to allow consumers to engage with and enjoy our brands across a wide range of platforms and services.”

Pricing for the next year’s live streaming from Hulu still needs to be known. But, it charges $7.99 per month with limited ads and $11.99 per month for ads-free services.

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said: “This investment from Time Warner marks a major step for Hulu as we continue to redefine television for both consumers and advertisers.

“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.”

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