TiVo announced that starting Monday Hulu Plus will be available for an additional $7.99 per month via to customers with retail TiVo Premiere boxes -- but the service won't necessarily be available via TiVo DVRs supplied through cable operators.
TiVo announced plans to offer Hulu Plus seven months ago.
Hulu has not disclosed how many subscribers it has signed up for Hulu Plus since introducing it last November, but CEO Jason Kilar has claimed it is on track to top 1 million by the end of 2011. The company was founded in 2007 and is owned by NBC Universal, News Corp., the Walt Disney Co., Providence Equity Partners and certain Hulu employees.
Hulu Plus provides current shows from broadcast networks ABC, Fox and NBC including Modern Family, Grey's Anatomy, Glee, Family Guy, The Office and 30 Rock; cable content from Comedy Central and MTV including The Colbert Report and The Daily Show; and full series runs and back seasons of dozens of older shows.
Hulu Plus is available on a range of Internet-connected devices, including PCs, Apple iPads and iPhones, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3, Roku set-tops and Samsung, Sony and Vizio HDTVs and Blu-ray players.
In a promotion that runs through Aug. 31, TiVo and Hulu will offer six months of free Hulu Plus service to customers of newly purchased TiVo Premiere DVRs, while existing Premiere users are being offered a one-month trial.
TiVo has struck deals with pay-TV operators including RCN, Suddenlink Communications and Charter Communications, which currently offer or plan to offer Premiere DVRs to their customers.
In order for the MSO-supplied boxes to receive Hulu Plus, Hulu would need an official content distribution agreement with those operators, according to TiVo. The DVR maker noted, however, that the Premiere DVR platform available through operators is capable of supporting Hulu Plus.
A video showing Hulu Plus on TiVo available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUqCTSmKsSg.
TiVo provides access to other over-the-top Internet options to Premiere DVR users, including from Netflix, YouTube, Amazon.com and Blockbuster.
"As the world's first smart DVR, TiVo Premiere brings the best entertainment from cable and the Web together in one place, with one easy-to-use remote and simple search features for one truly brilliant TV experience," TiVo senior vice president and general manager of content services and media sales Tara Maitra said in a statement.
By adding Hulu Plus and other broadband-delivered content, TiVo hopes to try to reverse the tide of subscriber losses. For the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2011, the DVR company had 2.05 million customers, down 21% from 2.6 million a year earlier.
TiVo expects to release results for its first quarter ending April 30, 2011, after market close on Tuesday, May 24.