Hulu has now started emailing affected Live TV customers to advise them that they have lost access to their local ABC affiliate. Specifically, it is the affiliates owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group that have now been removed from Hulu Live TV’s channel lineup.
As is almost always the case in these situations, the ABC channels have been dropped as a result of Hulu and Sinclair being unable to agree terms for a new carriage deal.
Even though Hulu has yet to publicly announce the change, it has now started emailing affected customers advising them of the adjustment to their channel lineup, and the fact that the channel is no longer available as a result of a distribution issue.
“We wanted to let you know that, as of today (03/08/2023), Hulu no longer has the rights to distribute the local ABC affiliate that was previously included with your Live TV plan.”Email from Hulu
In addition to the emails, Hulu has also started confirming the change in replies on social media, also confirming that Sinclair is the channel owner the dispute is with.
As these are local channels, not all Hulu Live TV subscribers are going to be affected by the change. Instead, whether a subscriber now has access to their local ABC will depend on their location, and who owns the affiliate serving that area.
For those that haven’t signed up to Hulu Live TV but considering doing so, they will be able to check whether they get access to their local ABC before signing up. In areas where ABC is no longer available, the Hulu website shows ABC as an On Demand Only channel when viewing the lineup filtered by ZIP code.
Essentially, this means that content available via the national ABC will be available to stream the day after it is shown live.
As of right now, it doesn’t seem likely that a deal will be made and so there are no indications that the removed ABC stations will be added back. However, that may change. Back in 2020, a similar situation arose with Sinclair and CBS affiliates, and although the channels remained gone for a couple of months, they were eventually added back in 2021.