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Hulu to bring Sinclair digital networks, Tennis Channel to live TV service

The home screen of Disney's general entertainment streaming service Hulu.
The home screen of Disney’s general entertainment streaming service Hulu. (Graphic by The Desk)

The Walt Disney Company’s general entertainment streaming service Hulu will start offering four new channels operated by Sinclair, Inc., the companies announced on Wednesday.

Starting in January, Hulu with Live TV will begin carrying the Tennis Channel, T2, Charge! and Comet as part of a new carriage deal with the streaming service.

The addition of Tennis Channel and T2 will allow Hulu with Live TV customers to watch Sinclair’s professional tennis telecasts, which represent around 93 percent of tennis events each year. Comcast’s NBC Universal and Disney’s ESPN have telecast rights to some other pro-tennis tournaments, including Wimbledon and the French Open.

Hulu with Live TV also offers some entertainment and sports-focused add-on packages that unlock additional channels for extra fees. It wasn’t clear if the deal announced on Wednesday will involve relegating Tennis Channel, T2 or other Sinclair-owned networks to add-on packages, or if the channels will be incorporated in Hulu with Live TV’s base package, which costs $70 a month.

The deal with Hulu comes three months after Sinclair forged a similar distribution agreement with Google-backed YouTube TV, which began carrying TBD and T2 in June. YouTube TV has offered Comet, Charge! and the Tennis Channel for some time.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).