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Hulu to Air NFL Network and RedZone

By Eric Volkman - Apr 20, 2021 at 5:29PM

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The football league's programming will be available on the streamer's Hulu + Live TV service.

Hulu, the video-streaming service majority-owned by Walt Disney (DIS 1.84%), is sprinting to the end zone. The National Football League (NFL) announced Tuesday that it's agreed with Hulu to a multiyear carriage agreement under which the former's NFL Network and its game-day NFL RedZone show would begin airing on the Hulu + Live TV service by Aug. 1. (The league's opening day is Sept. 9.)

Neither the terms nor the price of the deal were disclosed. The NFL also didn't specify how many years the agreement will be in force.

Football player making a diving catch.

Image source: Getty Images.

The league didn't hesitate to point out that across the last five years, 77 of the 100 most-watched TV programs were NFL games. That's a powerful draw for any broadcaster, even if the vast bulk of NFL Network programming is non-game content typically of interest only to hardcore fans. It also makes the Disney/Hulu offering more competitive with rival live-TV streamers, such as Alphabet's YouTube TV.

The new NFL arrangement also dovetails nicely with Disney's ESPN, its collection of legacy cable sports channels that has struggled with significant subscriber erosion. ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNEWS are packaged in the Hulu + Live-TV service, which in total costs $64.99 per month.

"With the addition of NFL Network and NFL RedZone to our channel lineup, Hulu + Live TV continues to be the ultimate destination for sports fans to watch thousands of hours of live sports programming," Disney's senior vice president of live TV content and programming Reagan Feeney was quoted as saying.

Disney shareholders didn't seem overly impressed by the Hulu/NFL deal. The stock traded down by nearly 2.5% on Tuesday, against the 0.7% drop of the S&P 500 index.

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