Back in March when HBO Now was a hot topic of discussion in TV streaming circles, Cablevision made some news when it announced that its Optimum Online service would be the first cable provider to offer HBO's new streaming service.
Yesterday Cablevision announced another first: they're going to start offering Hulu to their customers. According to their press release: Cablevision is the first cable or satellite provider to agree to distribute Hulu’s comprehensive catalog of on-demand content.
There are a lot of details missing. We haven't been given pricing info and it's not really clear (from the content of the press release) exactly how this will work, but a post at The Verge says "you'll tune to it directly from Cablevision's remote." The Verge doesn't source their info but assuming they have it right, it suggests Hulu will be available through Cablevision's set-top box, so won't be available to Internet-only customers. In other words this isn't a "cord-cutter" feature but just an additional feature for TV subscribers.
And it makes sense, in my opinion. At first glance it might seem silly to have a Hulu Plus subscription in addition to a cable TV subscription, but Hulu is a great place to catch up on shows that you discover mid-season, or even for when the DVR goes wonky and forgets to record last night's episode of your favorite show. Plus there's a lot of older content on there and some original series too.
Of course you can get Hulu Plus (for $8/month) on just about every streaming platform there is, but there's something to be said for the convenience of just staying on your cable box (assuming that's how it'll be delivered) when you want to switch from live TV to something on Hulu. There's also the possibility that Cablevision subscribers will get some kind of price break, but that remains to be seen.
I sure wish some of the other cable TV providers would pay attention to what Cablevision has been up to and start to follow suit. It seems to me the company is (and I know this is hard to believe since we're talking about a cable company) interested in offering services that embrace the changing face of television, rather than digging in their heels and clinging to the old way of doing business.