Hulu has expanded the reach of its Hulu Plus service to include boxes from TiVo and Roku.
Hulu’s subscription-based Hulu Plus service launched in June, with a fee of $9.99 per month. Hulu Plus is already available on Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players from Samsung; on Apple’s iPad, 3G iPhone, iPhone 4 and third-generation iPod Touch devices; on Microsoft’s Xbox 360; and on Sony’s PlayStation 3.
Roku, which announced new boxes last week, said Hulu Plus would be available later this fall to its subscribers, while TiVo said the service would be available to its TiVo Premiere customers in the coming months.
The for-pay Hulu service will be available on all three of Roku’s Internet video players. The devices, which start at $60, connect to a home network using Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. Roku said it expects to have sold 1 million set-top boxes by the end of the year.
TiVo customers pay an extra $12.95-a-month fee for updated TV listings and services or $399 for a lifetime subscription. Hulu Plus will only be available to buyers of the Premiere DVR for $299 or Premiere XL for $499. TiVo said it had 2.4 million subscribers at the end of July, down from 3.1 million a year earlier, but it did not disclose how many were users of Premiere models.
Hulu typically trails Google’s YouTube for the number of videos viewed each month. While it has been seen as the biggest over-the-top threat to cable operators, it could become partially owned by Comcast when its deal to buy the controlling stake in NBC Universal is completed. Currently, Walt Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal own Hulu.
– AP Business WriterRyan Nakashima contributed to this report