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The week in OTT: Apple mulls new TV bundle; Hulu, Univision deal expires

The week in over-the-top provides a recap of recent news related to OTT initiatives from various networks and platforms.

* Apple Inc. is mulling plans to combine Time Warner Inc.'s HBO (US), CBS Corp.'s Showtime (US) and Starz (US) in a premium TV bundle, Recode reported April 2. While Apple already offers the networks to consumers, it has reached out to the three networks about plans of offering them in a single package, according to the report.

* Hulu LLC's streaming deal with Univision Communications Inc. has expired, resulting in Hulu subscribers losing access to content including Univision (US) series and telenovelas, The Hollywood Reporter reported March 31. A spokeswoman for Univision said the companies are engaged in talks to reach a new licensing agreement.

In other platform news

* Verizon Communications Inc. is gearing up to launch a live online TV service, Bloomberg News reported March 30, citing people familiar with the matter. The company has reportedly been buying streaming rights from TV network owners and plans to sell a package with dozens of channels this summer.

* Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC entered into a partnership with Snap Inc. for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, The Wall Street Journal reported March 29, citing sources familiar with the details. The partnership, which allows Snap to share clips of NBC (US)'s Olympics content in a live story on its Snapchat platform, also includes advertising commitments that could range between $50 million and $75 million in the first quarter of 2018, the sources said. Snapchat will also carry coverage of the event that BuzzFeed will co-produce with NBC for the Snapchat Discover media hub.

* Hulu added programming from Telemundo (US) and Sony Pictures Television to its lineup. Under two new multiyear agreements, Hulu will add hundreds of episodes of telenovelas, films and Spanish-language programming from Telemundo to the streaming service, in addition to a selection of telenovelas, teleseries and movies from the Sony Corp. unit, the company said March 28.

* Hulu acquired rights to stream politically themed series called "I Love You, America," Multichannel News reported March 27, citing a company announcement. The series from Funny Or Die reportedly stars comedian Sarah Silverman.

* Amazon.com Inc. green-lighted a one-hour limited drama series that will be directed by Barry Jenkins, TVLine.com reported March 27. "The Underground Railroad" is based on Colson Whitehead's 2016 novel of the same name, according to the report.