On Wednesday, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins revealed that the company’s upcoming live TV service, a competitor to cable TV, will cost “under $40” per month, Variety reports.
The service will work much like a regular cable or satellite TV package, except that it will be delivered over the internet to your smart TV, phone, tablet, and so on. Though Hopkins didn’t specify an exact release date, he said it would launch in a “couple of months,” and that the “under $40” price would include both Hulu’s existing $7.99-per-month on-demand video library, as well as cloud DVR capabilities.
Hulu’s upcoming service will include CBS, notably absent from AT&T’s competing DirecTV Now internet TV package.
“To build a successful live TV service, you have to have viewers’ favourite sports and shows — and CBS’ programming is absolutely vital to that mix,” Hopkins said in a statement. “With 21st Century Fox, Disney, Turner and now CBS on board, our new live service will offer one of the most valuable sports, news and entertainment lineups anywhere — from ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports and TNT to ABC, CBS, FOX and The Disney Channel.”
Hulu said that all networks in the CBS deal will be available to stream live on the service, and “much of their programming” would also be available on-demand.
Hulu will enter a crowded streaming TV market in 2017. Besides Dish’s Sling TV, Sony’s Vue, and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, YouTube is working on its own package, and Amazon is rumoured to be doing the same.
What remains to be seen is exactly how robust Hulu’s channel lineup will be. While AT&T’s DirecTV Now initially offered a whopping 100+ channels for $35 dollars per month, that tier will begin to cost $60 per month on January 9. The $35 dollar option will include 60+ channels. (Hopkins clarified that Hulu’s “under $40” was not a promotional price point). Hulu’s full lineup has not been revealed.
The other big question for Hulu’s service will be technical performance. The two big names in the space, Dish’s Sling TV and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, have been plagued with technical issues, as has Sony’s Vue to some extent, though it reportedly has a much smaller subscriber base than Sling.