Hulu with Live TV adds game start notifications for March Madness and more 60 fps channels
Mobile alerts will be available for all major sports soon
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Over a year ago, when Hulu first previewed its live TV service, the company’s video teaser revealed a feature that still hasn’t arrived: mobile notifications. In that demo, a user got an alert about a basketball game with a tight score heading into the final minute of play. But months later, Hulu has yet to actually build mobile alerts — something that could help it stand out against Sling TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue — into the live TV service. That’s changing with this month’s March Madness tournament.
Customers of Hulu with Live TV who choose their favorite March Madness team(s) will get a notification whenever a game involving those teams is about to get underway. Hulu has made a new portal for the basketball tourney and will customize that presentation for users based on their team selections.
Game start notifications will strictly apply to March Madness at launch; Hulu says it’s planning to enable them for all live sports games after this first try. You can already pick your favorite pro sports teams when setting up the live TV service, so the company already has the data it needs to ensure those notifications are relevant once it’s ready to flip the switch.
Hulu’s Ben Smith has repeatedly told me that the team doesn’t want to annoy subscribers with an overload of pocket vibrations and mobile alerts. So game start notifications are just the beginning, and you can expect to see other (always optional) implementations as the company receives user feedback and fine tunes the feature.
Additionally, Hulu has substantially increased the number of live TV channels that it streams at 60 frames per second. The smoother, fluid motion of 60 fps is most useful for sports programming, and the new additions include CBS Sports Network, “most” Fox affiliates, Fox Sports 1 / 2 and Fox Sports RSNs, NBC Sports RSNs, the Golf Channel, and others. The full, updated list of 60 fps channels is below:
Big Ten Network
CBS Sports Network
Cinemax – All channels
FOX Business Network
FOX News Channel
FOX Sports – All RSNs
FOX Sports 1
FOX Sports 2
HBO – All channels
Nat Geo WILD
NBC – All affiliates, as well as New England Channel News
NBC Sports – All RSNs
SHOWTIME – All channels
Telemundo – All affiliates
Universal Kids (East)