This week on TechHive: Hulu's losing new NBC shows. What's left?

  Jared Newman  |  March 11, 2022  | Read online

Hulu could look a lot different this fall after losing a chunk of its on-demand TV catalog.

NBCUniversal announced last week that it will stop providing current-season shows to Hulu’s on-demand service later this year. Instead, shows such as "Saturday Night Live," "The Voice," and "Chicago Fire" will move over to NBC’s own Peacock streaming service.

It’s not unusual for shows to migrate between streaming services, especially now that so many cable networks have their own. Still, this particular pullback marks the end of an era for Hulu, whose next-day major network programming has always been its defining feature, and it comes as Hulu is also losing many of the on-demand shows that it licensed from other cable networks.

The result is a murky future for one of the streaming wars’ earliest contenders. Read the full column on TechHive.

Weekly rewind:

Ad-supported Disney+: Just as I was sending last week's newsletter, Disney confirmed that it will launch an ad-supported tier for Disney+ later this year. The company didn't announce a price, though its press release mentions "a lower price point" than the $8 per month ad-free version, so it probably won't be free.

A chart in this Hollywood Reporter story helps explain why Disney is so interested in advertising: With the ad-supported version of Hulu, Disney brings in about $13 per user, per month, the same as what Hulu charges for its ad-free tier. The company likely sees a chance to bring in more users with little risk to its revenue, especially if it can share targeted ad sales and data across its products.

The rush to reintroduce ads in streaming TV is still a bummer to see, though, especially in a kid-friendly service like Disney+. (On the upside, Netflix is still saying that ads don't make sense for its service, though it hasn't ruled them out.)

More cable news unbundling: Starting this spring, Peacock will stream several MSNBC shows just hours after they air on cable, the Wall Street Journal reports. Shows coming to Peacock include "Morning Joe," "All In With Chris Hayes," and "The Beat with Ari Melber," though MSNBC still seems to be reserving Rachel Maddow and some of its other heavy-hitters for cable.

The announcement follows a similar move by Fox News, which started streaming replays of "Hannity," "Tucker Carlson Tonight," and several other primetime shows on its $6 per month Fox Nation service last fall. Both companies are trying to bring in meaningful streaming revenue without tanking their cable businesses, and so they've settled on a strategy of making cord-cutters wait a little while to see some popular cable shows.

CNN, meanwhile, seems intent on charging $6 per month for an entirely separate slate of programming with its forthcoming CNN+ service. Good luck with that.

Baseball on Apple TV: With the MLB lockout likely over, Apple will be streaming two games every Friday night on Apple TV+. The games on Friday Night Baseball, as Apple calls it, will be exclusive to the service, so if your local team is involved, your regional sports network won't carry the game. (Apple says it will allow free access to the games for a "limited time".)

I'm normally the last one to complain about "fragmentation" among streaming services, but it's irksome to see games get divvied up piecemeal. (See also: Peacock reportedly has a deal to stream baseball games on Mondays and Wednesday.) Though I think the unbundling of sports from expensive pay TV packages is a good thing overall, I'm not sure what deals like these will accomplish other than making fans more confused and annoyed. More thoughts along that line in this story of mine over at Fast Company.

More catch-up

Save more money

If you're new to YouTube TV, you may be able to get two weeks of the service for free, followed by up to three months for $55 per month, which is $10 off the usual price. Cord Cutters News also reports that some users are seeing an offer of $45 per month for three months, albeit without the two-week trial. (I have not confirmed the latter.) There's no way to control which offer you get, though you may be able to refresh your page or use a different device to try and get the opposite one.

Meanwhile, Sling TV is offering a bunch of streaming device deals for new customers:

Amazon says you can redeem the trial anytime before April 18, so these might be decent ways to get through the early stages of March Madness if you're in need of a new streaming device. (And if you've subscribed to Sling already, creating a new email address is easier than you might think.)

Hey folks, here's what I wrote about in this week's issue of my Advisorator newsletter:

  • Why I avoid using Chrome's built-in password manager.
  • Faster access to your favorite Google web apps.
  • A neat new way to cover up faces in photos.
  • Great deals on keyboards, earbuds for sleeping, and more.

It's just $50 per year or $15 per quarter to get this kind of tech advice in your inbox every week, and you can try it free for four weeks. Thanks for checking it out!

Thanks for reading!

Got cord cutting questions you'd like me to answer? Just reply to this email and I'll do my best to respond!

Until next week,


Last week's issue: Never pay for Paramount+

Enjoying the newsletter? Share this issue or the sign-up link.

Really enjoying the newsletter?Buy me a coffee.

Cord Cutter Weekly is a labor of love by tech journalist Jared Newman. Say hi on Twitter, and spread the word that there's a better kind of TV out there. Click here to unsubscribe.