Hulu opening new support center as live TV service launch approaches

Hulu
Hulu said that all customer-focused functions will be based in San Antonio.

Hulu is planning to open a new Viewer Experience Operations headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, later this year.

The new facility is geared toward “substantially” increasing Hulu’s customer support team and capabilities as the company readies its new live TV service and redesigned Hulu interface.

“One of our key values at Hulu is putting the viewer first, and vital to that is crafting and delivering an extraordinary customer experience. In addition to building a great product, we’re building an infrastructure that allows us to provide the most personal, responsive and knowledgeable customer support for our viewers,” said Ben Smith, head of experience at Hulu, in a statement.

If recent launches for fellow virtual MVPDs offer any indication, Hulu’s live TV service is likely in for its fair share of glitches and the subsequent customer backlash.

RELATED: DirecTV Now streaming tech endures rocky launch

After launching in late November last year, DirecTV Now endured numerous technical problems. TV Predictions followed the mishaps and “hundreds” of complaints on Twitter, Facebook and various message boards.

At CES earlier this year, AT&T admitted to some early issues but downplayed the scope of the problems with its fledging live TV streaming service.

“Absolutely there were problems … the problems were not as big as I expected,” said AT&T Entertainment CTO Enrique Rodriguez. “I’m so proud of the quality we delivered.”

In 2015 when Dish Network’s Sling TV launched and essentially pioneered the current wave of vMVPDs, the service experienced many hiccups, particularly during peak TV-viewing events like Monday Night Football and the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Research firm nScreenMedia estimated that Dish lost $1 million in revenue and support costs when Sling TV went down during Turner's broadcast of a tournament semifinal game featuring Wisconsin and Kentucky.

Hopefully, Hulu will be able to mitigate some of the problems that could occur after its launch with the help of its new customer service center. The new Viewer Experience Operations headquarters will bring more than 300 jobs to the city of San Antonio in 2017, with more than 500 total jobs projected by in 2018.

Hulu said that all customer-focused functions, including customer support operations, and service and network operations in support of Hulu’s technology platform, will be based in San Antonio.