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The Streamable Search

Disney’s OTT Chief Says Hulu + Live TV to Explore Offering Skinny Bundle

Jason Gurwin

At the Recode Conference, Disney’s Direct-To-Consumer Chairman, Kevin Mayer, was asked if Hulu was considering a skinnier live bundle in response to the recent price hikes. “It could be, we actually haven’t made any decisions. We’re just now starting that exploration.”

It’s not as simple given their existing deals with content companies. In order to offer a skinny bundle, Mayer says, Disney “has certain obligations with our channel partners, will have to work through if we were going to do that.”

But there certainly is an appetite for Hulu to offer something that isn’t “one size fits all.” Mayer said that, “over time we’ll find that one size doesn’t fit all. And we’ll want to make some changes.”

This is consistent from what Hulu CEO, Randy Freer, has said for the last year. In an interview with The Information in October 2018, Freer said that they were rethinking their approach to selling live TV. Freer said that the service wanted to drop “some live entertainment channels to create a smaller bundle of live sports, news and on-demand entertainment.”

However, since there the live line-up hasn’t become any skinner, in fact the service added Discovery networks the following month. There are some signs that things are changing however. Earlier this month, Disney announced that Hulu would offer their on-demand subscribers access to FX content (in addition to the library) just hours after they air on linear TV.

Whether Hulu Live TV can ever offer a skinny bundle, similar to Sling TV is yet to be seen. But for streamers who are tired of annual rate hikes, it’s good to see they’re at least considering it.