Since we have been watching the boring 2017 NBA Playoffs & NBA Finals, during commercials, Hulu advertised their new live streaming service. Hulu, working to capitalize on those who want to be cord-cutters, showed over 50 channels that would be available at early launch. Channels included are ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, most of the important ESPN networks, CBS Sports Network & others.
This post is going to focus directly on the sports side of things. For the longest time, sports lovers couldn’t cut the cord and not rely on cable due to network apps being available only through cable logins. Hulu Live TV cut the cord – for good.
If you are someone who isn’t used to the language – don’t worry, an education is coming soon.
Anyways, sports fans were reliant on watching their favorite teams & games through cable logins. Hulu & their new service finally allows for fans to watch games & other live programming without the need to login to a provider. Many feel sports fans were the last group to keep cable truly a float.
Providers now need to think of new gameplans going forward.
What The Heck Is Cord-Cutting?
Cord-cutting means getting rid of cable & satellite service for TV. During the last decade, services like XFinity (Comcast), DirecTV, Cox & others were beginning to charge nearly $150 for cable & internet packages. The internet service was fine, however, many people didn’t want to pay so much for channels they don’t watch.
During the last 3-4 years, TV watchers demanded change in a big way. People began relying on Netflix, Hulu, WWE Network & other over-the-top apps to gain entertainment. However, many sports fans were still in the cold. Sports apps are available on Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV & others, but when a user watched the app, they had to have a login to their own, a family or friends cable service.
Hulu Recognized Sports Fans Kept Cable Strong
The one event where advertisers could charge major rights fees for cable companies was sports. Sports are always live & can’t be recreated with emotion through replays. Too many people know what happens & once highlights are available, the magic of the moment is gone.
Sling TV was actually the first to come out with the live streaming service, not Hulu. Sling was strong, but it didn’t include the normal over-the-air channels, where many sports are carried. Hulu goes over them with being able to have access to almost every major live sporting event available now.
The service featured at launch the following sports networks: ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2, Big Ten Network and CBS Sports Network.
All of the networks other than CBS Sports Network have been available via stream. Fans had been wondering when CBS Sports Network would finally stream content. The network carries strong amounts of college football & college basketball during the season & missed out on major viewers recently.
Another big win for the service was having regional Fox Sports channels. Fans will be able to watch local teams through their local Fox sports affiliate. Fox carries a majority of the sports teams on a regional network nightly, and being available on Hulu helps in making sure fans won’t look to the cord anytime soon.
Network TV Ratings Should Get Higher with Hulu Live TV
Network executives pull their hair out every year trying to find content to compete with Netflix, Amazon & other streaming services. People look to watch TV on their time, which meant going to the on-demand style through the network apps. Some people waited until shows were available on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon.
With a live streaming option, more people will have the option to watch shows in real-time. A reason networks love this feature is due to social media scoring. Networks want to win the fight in the Nielsen ratings, but also create social media buzz. The social media attention is not the same when a show is being watched the next day or on-demand – obviously, the exceptions being networks that are made for all shows to be watched on-demand.
The Hulu Live TV service can be viewed on a variety of different devices immediately, with more scheduled to be added soon. Networks will have the ability to reach fans anywhere in real-time, something new for many of the top over-the-air companies. Sports networks have been live streaming for some time now – and it shows in the results & in the social media interactions on a regular basis.
Hulu Live TV Helps Networks Target Millenials Easier
Networks will be willing to develop more series, investing millions of dollars into making a project come to life. Furthermore, networks will feel comfortable knowing advertisers will have their products seen by a broad amount of potential users. Most companies target the millenial market, but had a problem connecting due to the mobile nature of people.
The mobile nature particularly targets young people. As we are in the summer months, people are on the go more. They have more time off and are looking to enjoy the weather & friends – not worrying about what time to get home to watch a show. To have Scandal, Masterchef, This Is Us, or any other popular non-sports show opens up marketing in a major way. Ads can be customized for certain devices through cookies, regions, & viewing habits.
Lack of jobs and money hurt people’s ability to watch shows faithfully at the same time each week. Shows viewed on an iPhone live will have much better following in the long run than a show on a network in only on-demand.
At the end of the day, having live streaming is a necessity for any show or network to survive. The day will come when the old ways of cable & satellite will disappear completely.
Either live stream or as the Metallica song goes – Fade To Black.