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Monday, Jan 30, 2023

AT&T Says Hello To Hulu

AT&T Inc. has reached a deal to provide its customers with access to popular streaming service Hulu starting later this year.

It is the latest move by the wireless carrier to beef up its streaming video offerings while it waits to hear if the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department will approve its deal to buy El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV.

The Hulu announcement comes little more than a week after documents released by the FCC showed Netflix officials had met with FCC commissioners last month, urging them to reject or demand changes to AT&T’s planned $48.5 billion purchase of DirecTV. During the meeting, Netflix argued that a merged AT&T and DirecTV could try to delay or prevent customers from giving up cable or satellite TV service in favor of online video providers.

Netflix also objected to Comcast’s proposed $45 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable, a deal those companies dropped after regulators said a merger between the two largest U.S. cable providers would have hurt the online TV business.

The growing market in online video has been very much in the news lately and AT&T rival Verizon announced yesterday it was acquiring AOL in order to boost its own digital and video offerings.

Today’s announcement that Hulu services will be available to AT&T customers on both mobile devices and the web came without specific information about pricing, launch date or exactly what was being offered, although Hulu, which is jointly owned by Comcast, Walt Disney Co. and Fox, has full libraries of many popular TV shows including “Seinfeld,” “Empire,” “South Park” and “CSI.”

“We know that our customers want to be able to access video on multiple devices,” said AT&T content acquisition associate vice president Andrew Goodman. The deal will “expand our relationship with Hulu and make its innovative and vast video selections available to AT&T customers on multiple screens.”

“We are excited to be working with AT&T to connect its customers with our premium content on every screen,” said Tim Connolly, Hulu’s senior vice president of partnerships and distribution.


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