The topic of the day on 21st Century Fox’s third-quarter 2016 earnings conference call wasn’t Fox at all.
Instead, it was the so-called Hulu Live, something that was officially announced during the SVOD provider’s upfront earlier this morning.
As an early licensee, Fox CEO James Murdoch (pictured, right) was asked no less than half a dozen questions this afternoon about his company’s participation on the platform — an opportunity that he’s all for.
“We want to make our programming more available, not less,” Rupert Murdoch’s son said.
Plus, streaming simply offers a better business model, he continued, one that offers potentially higher affiliate fees, more control over ad loads (Fox already runs a lower one on “Empire” streams, for example), and unique abilities for targeted promotions.
Then there’s what Murdoch called streaming’s “very, very attractive” ad prices — and who could turn those down? But it’s not all about Fox’s dollars and cents, James Murdoch said — the traditional TV alternative is also better for their advertising partners, and even the end user.
“We’re totally convinced it’s a better ad experience for customers and for advertisers,” he concluded.
Read up on 21st Century Fox’s actual quarterly earnings here.
This morning, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins confirmed the on-demand streaming service will morph into one that directly competes with traditional TV by adding live channels.
“We’re going to fuse the best of live TV and on-demand,” Hopkins said Wednesday at its NewFronts presentation to an audience of marketers in New York.
Earlier this week, news leaked that Hulu was working with networks at its parent companies — Disney, 21st Century Fox and Comcast’s NBCUniversal — on such a service, which would add feeds of live broadcast and cable TV channels to its current Netflix-like catalog of video-on-demand shows and movies.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Fox aims to include its broadcast network, Fox News Channel, FX, and national and regional sports channels.