A few months ago, Hulu finally revamped its Android TV app after it letting it languish for years, with the main new addition being support for Hulu Live TV. However, the company’s renewed attention to the platform also seems to come with a downside: the app is being blocked on a handful of Android TV set-top boxes.
As originally reported by Cord Cutters News, the new Hulu app originally blocked AT&T’s Android TV-powered streaming box. That was strange on its own, but now the app is also no longer available on Sling TV’s AirTV DVR, the Channel Master Stream+ DVR (which we reviewed), and the AirTV Mini dongle.
Since all of the blocked devices are competing directly with Hulu’s live TV offerings (either though internet TV streaming or cable broadcasts), our best guess is that this is an attempt by Hulu to do some damage to its competitors. If that’s the case, it will only seriously hurt Hulu’s own customers — I’m sure there are plenty of people who pair Hulu’s non-TV streaming plan with their existing TV service. It’s also possible that complicating licensing deals with TV network providers are a factor.
We’ve reached out to Hulu for a statement, and we’ll update this post if/when they respond.