AT&T to Offer Hulu to Subscribers

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Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins

AT&T customers will still need to subscribe to Hulu's $7.99 a month subscription to watch the full catalog of streaming TV shows through AT&T websites and apps.

AT&T is bringing Hulu's television library to its customers. 

The telecom giant has struck a deal with Hulu to bring its subscription streaming service to customers through its AT&T websites and mobile apps. When the deal takes effect later this year, AT&T customers will be able to browse Hulu shows and watch a selection of clips. Customers who want to watch full episodes will be directed to either subscribe to Hulu's $7.99 a month premium tier or to log in to their accounts. 

AT&T has already had a relationship with Hulu, distributing the streamer's free content to its subscribers. But this deal extends the partnership and is designed to drive new subscribers to Hulu's premium tier, which Hulu has been building up through exclusive SVOD deals for tentpole titles such as Empire, Nashville and the libraries for South Park and Seinfeld.

AT&T and Hulu are also exploring developing a Hulu app for TV.

"We know that our customers want to be able to access video on multiple devices," said Andrew Goodman, associate vp content acquisition at AT&T. "So we're excited to be able to expand our relationship with Hulu and make its innovative and vast video selections available to AT&T customers on multiple screens."

The deal with AT&T comes as Hulu has been making strides to expand distribution, announcing last month that Cablevision, via its Optimum service, would be the first cable or satellite provider to distribute Hulu's subscription catalog. Then, last week, Hulu also added distribution deals with a group of multichannel distributors that includes Armstrong, Atlantic Broadband, Mediacom Communications, Midcontinent Communications and WideOpenWest.  

"At Hulu we believe users should have the ability to consume their favorite content, when, where and how they want," said Hulu's senior vp distribution Tim Connolly. "Even with the rapid growth in streaming, there is a huge audience that consumes television through their cable provider, and we want to be there for them too."

AT&T has been making an effort to expand its streaming video offerings by forming Otter Media with The Chernin Group to invest in, acquire and launch over-the-top services. Its first big purchase was a majority stake in YouTube network Fullscreen.