If the lack of Turner Classic Movies is one of your key reasons for not yet cutting your cable cord or if your cable provider just doesn’t offer the channel, then there is good news on the horizon. Starting early next year, TCM ill be among the cable outlets that Hulu will be streaming live.
The new streaming package that Hulu will be offering comes about through Time/Warner buying a 10% stake in the streaming provider for $583 million. Walt Disney, 21st Century Fox, and Comcast each own a 30% stake in Hulu.
As part of that deal, Hulu will be setting up a subscription package that would enable customers to live stream a number of Time/Warner outlets including Turner Class Movies as well as TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV and Boomerang. According to a report in Money, a Warners spokesperson has stated that the channels’ “content will be available live and on demand.”
Given that Hulu has been growing its library of films available for streaming while Netflix’s has been shrinking in favor of original programming and the fact that Hulu already has the venerable Criterion Collection available through its service, the additional availability of TCM suggests that Hulu could become the go-to streaming provider for film fans.
As for price, it is looking like Hulu will be charging about $35 a month for the package. That’s a substantially lower cost than the average cable package of approximately $100 dollars.
This marks the second new foray into streaming that TCM is making. In April, it was announced that they were collaborating with the Criterion Collection to launch the indie, foreign and art house cinema streaming outlet FilmStruck, which should be debuting this fall. TCM already has an app available for Amazon’s FireTV that streams the channel live as well as provides access to the last seven days of programming though it requires a cable subscription.
For years, many people have argued that they would prefer cable systems offer channels a la carte, allowing customers to pick and pay for just the channels that they would actually watch. As it is now, customers have to pay for channels that are bundled by their service provider and those bundles always contain channels customers don’t care to watch. For example, if I want my cable provider Comcast to give me the IFC Channel or Sundance TV, I have to subscribe to a package that also includes numerous sports channels like ESPNews, CBS Sports Network and NHL Network that I will never watch because I don’t have any interest in them. And that feels like a waste of money to me as it does for many.
While this is not quite an a la carts solution, it is a step closer towards that than any cable company has managed to budge. Coupled with the fact that more cable outlets providing their channels via Roku or Amazon Fire TV, streaming deals like this are going to give consumers more power to pick and pay for exactly the channels that they want. Cable companies are going to be feeling more pressure to adapt or become as obsolete as black and white television sets.