Hulu, the video-streaming company, added Comcast’s NBC cable networks to a new live online TV service that consumers are testing, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Cable networks, including Bravo and E!, began appearing on the service Friday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the accord hasn’t been announced. The parties have yet to clinch a deal to include NBC channels, including the flagship broadcast network, when the service is sold to the public in the next couple of months. The addition of the cable outlets is progress in that direction.
NBC is the lone holdout among the major broadcast networks — and the only one owned by a cable provider. Comcast has 22.5 million pay-TV subscribers. Although the owners of CBS, ABC, and Fox have encouraged new pay-TV services to enter the market, NBC’s owner could lose customers to Hulu and similar online TV services.
Hulu plans to offer customers more than 40 live channels for less than $40 a month, according to the company. The package will include its existing on-demand service, which offers reruns of popular shows like ‘‘This Is Us’’ and ‘‘Blackish,’’ as well as original programming.
Hulu is looking to build a strong program lineup as it steps into a field of new online TV packages that already includes Dish Network’s Sling TV, AT&T’s DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue from Sony and competes with existing cable and satellite providers. Google’s YouTube also plans to introduce a live pay-TV service in the next few months.