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Cablevision (CVC) Adds Hulu to Cable TV Channel Line-up

Leading cable MSO (multi service operator) Cablevision System Corp. CVC has added online video streaming service – Hulu – to its Optimum TV offering.
Customers will now be able to enjoy the streaming service on their Optimum TV set-top boxes, making Cablevision the first cable or satellite TV operator to offer Hulu as a pay-TV channel.
Notably, Hulu’s launch on Optimum TV will be powered with ActiveVideo's CloudTV StreamCast technology. Moreover, the Hulu service, starting at $7.99 per month, can be accessed via Cablevision’s Optimum channel 605. 
Meanwhile, customers who have subscribed to Hulu need to sign into their Hulu account, while those without an account can avail a free trial.
Notably, the new offering is available in select Cablevision service areas with plans in place to roll it out across other areas in the near future.
Meanwhile, this will put Hulu on par with premium cable networks like HBO, Showtime, and Starz. Interestingly, through its accessibility as a cable TV channel, Hulu seems to be following the footsteps of Netflix, Inc. NFLX, which has been offering pay-TV services on TiVo Inc.’s TIVO set-top boxes.
Meanwhile, we note that, last year, Cablevision became the first operator to offer Hulu’s on-demand TV shows and movies to its Optimum Plan customers. However, at that time, the service was only available online.
Our Take
Notably, Cablevision in the process of getting acquired by French billionaire Patrick Drahi’s Altice in a cash-and-stock deal worth $17.7 billion, including debt. Cablevision has been struggling to survive as an independent entity in the wake of rising competition in the pay-TV industry and a buyout at this juncture is expected to resolve a few pressing issues.
Meanwhile, unprecedented growth of low-cost video streaming service providers has resulted in severe cord cutting. Notably, Cablevision is persistently losing video customers despite the implementation of several growth-oriented strategies. In the fourth quarter of 2015, the company lost 10,000 video subscribers. Customer penetration rate for video has also declined on an annual basis.
Thus, Cablevision’s decision to add Hulu services to its channel offerings should attract customers and aid in minimizing its video customer churn owing to the wide range of programmes from Hulu’s library of content. Notably, Hulu’s subscriptions service has gained commendable market traction despite stiff competition from online streaming behemoths like Netflix and Inc. AMZN.
Cablevision currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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