Hulu just joined the live TV wars

Phillip Butler
May 4, 2017

While it offers the same number of viewer profiles as YouTube TV, Hulu's service is subpar in the other two ways.

Hulu is launching its new live streaming TV service in beta today, a $40-per-month, over-the-top video package that includes content from all of the major broadcast networks, numerous cable channels and Hulu's own slate of original programming.

Starting at $39.99 a month, customers can get live content from ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and around 50 other channels. On Hulu with live, local network streams for all four networks won't be available nationally at launch, but more cities are expected to follow soon.

Hulu with Live TV has a price of $40 a month, which gets you more than 50 live channels.

If you're a fan of local programming from network affiliates, you might be out of luck when it comes to streaming that content, because most live local content is usually restricted to the markets where the network itself owns the local station. Enhanced Cloud DVR boosts your online storage space from 50 hours to 200 hours and will included the ability to automatically record your favorite shows (and allow you to fast forward through commercials).

In addition, Hulu's Unlimited Screens option (also $14.99 monthly) provides as many simultaneous streams as users' broadband connections will sustain, and three concurrent streams outside the home. For $8.99 a month you can get Showtime.

If available in the subscriber's market, Hulu with Live TV can follow MLB, MLS, NBA, NCAA, NFL, and National Hockey League sports games and record them as they're played. With no set-up costs or installation, it features an easy-to-use, intuitive and personalized interface, that brings together live and on-demand news, entertainment and sports, all in one place, across hundreds of living room and mobile devices.

The public Beta trial is available on Android and iOS phones and tablets, and fourth-generation Apple TV, Xbox One and Chromecast. Also a year ago, Hulu quit offering free content and two subscription levels: a $7.99 monthly tier with limited ads and a $11.99 tier with no commercials.

What do you think of Hulu's new live TV service? The cost does start to build up especially if you look at services like Sling which start at $20 and PlayStation Vue which starts at $30. Hulu reports that it will soon be available on the Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung TV and Blu-ray players.

The arrival of Hulu's live TV service, along with that of YouTube TV, could encourage some traditional pay-TV subscribers to cut the cord, says 7Park Data analyst Christopher Coby.

New subscribers can sign in on any device and start watching live TV immediately, and existing subscribers can sign in and import their Watchlist so they can access that content and live TV streams side by side.

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