Hulu live TV service launches in beta
May 4, 2017
During its annual Upfront presentation, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the launch of the company’s brand new live TV streaming beta service, along with what it describes as its ground-breaking new user experience, to the public.
Viewers who subscribe to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan can enjoy live and on demand programming from more than 50 popular sports, news, entertainment and kids’ channels — plus Hulu’s deep existing premium streaming library — all for $39.99 (€36.71) per month, with no setup costs or hidden fees. This includes 50 hours of recording storage, up to six individual profiles and two simultaneous streams per account, with options to upgrade to an enhanced Cloud DVR and unlimited in-home screens.
The company also announced a new affiliate agreement with lifestyle media leader Scripps Networks Interactive to bring its popular networks, including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network, to both Hulu’s new live service and existing premium streaming offering.
“Nearly a decade ago, Hulu forever redefined the way people watch TV. Today, as we add live sports, news and entertainment and introduce a more intuitive Hulu, we want to redefine the way people experience TV,” said Hopkins. “By bringing together thousands of live, on-demand and library shows and movies — and serving them up in a uniquely personalised way – Hulu can now be a viewer’s primary source of television. It’s a natural extension of our business, and an exciting new chapter for Hulu.”
“We have always believed that TV should fit your lifestyle, not the other way around,” said Ben Smith, Hulu’s SVP and Head of Experience. “You shouldn’t have to think about whether something is live, recorded or on demand, or care about which device you’re using. TV is about connecting with the shows, movies and sports you love – and we want to make that really easy for you, no matter where you’re watching.”
Live and On Demand Channels, Originals and Library TV — All in One Place
With the launch, Hulu claims it becomes the only pay-TV service to offer live and on demand channels, original series and films, and a library of premium streaming TV shows and movies, all in one place. This includes content from the four major broadcast networks, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, with local live broadcast affiliate programming immediately available in many markets, with more to follow; the biggest live sporting events from top pro and college leagues on channels including CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT, as well as regional sports networks available in many markets; top news channels CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC; popular lifestyle programming from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel; and fan favourites such as A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland and more.
In addition, the $39.99 per month base package includes Hulu’s existing $7.99 premium streaming offering with limited commercials, which offers more than 3500 TV and film titles — and now includes full seasons of Scripps Networks series — as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals such as The Path, The Mindy Project, Casual, and 2017’s most talked-about new series, The Handmaid’s Tale. Viewers who wish to watch their Hulu Originals, movies, and library content without advertising can subscribe to the company’s on-demand No Commercials plan for an additional $4.00 per month.
TV That Gets You
Hulu now features an easy-to-use, intuitive interface that seamlessly blends together live, recorded and on-demand content. From creating a personal profile to picking favourite TV shows, news channels and movies,
All subscribers to the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan will automatically get to experience Hulu’s new interface. For Hulu subscribers who do not opt for live TV, the new interface is currently available on Xbox One, Apple TV (4th Gen.) and Android mobile devices.
Premium and Feature Add-Ons
Hulu viewers who choose the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) Plan can further enhance their Hulu experience by choosing premium content or feature add-ons that best fit their lifestyle:
- Enhanced Cloud DVR ($14.99/month): Subscribers can upgrade to 200 hours of recording storage and more powerful cloud DVR capabilities, allowing them to record as many shows as they want to at the same time and watch from anywhere — no clunky boxes needed. With the Enhanced Cloud DVR, Hulu will record new episodes of any show or games of any team that viewers have designated as a favorite, and they will be able to fast forward through recorded ads.
- Unlimited Screens ($14.99/month): Hulu’s Unlimited Screens add-on gives viewers as many simultaneous streams as they want in the home, and three outside the home, so the entire household can enjoy Hulu at any time.
- Enhanced Cloud DVR + Unlimited Screens ($19.99/month): Viewers can bundle both product add-ons together and save $10.00.
- SHOWTIME ($8.99/month): Fans of SHOWTIME can add the channel, giving them unlimited, on-demand access to all of SHOWTIME’s award-winning original series, box office hits, documentaries and specials.
Additional premium network add-ons will become available soon.
Enjoy Hulu Anywhere
As with Hulu’s existing premium streaming offering, Hulu’s new live TV beta service will be available across Internet-connected living room and mobile devices. The new service is rolling out on Apple TV (4th Gen.), Xbox One, iOS and Android mobile devices, as well as Chromecast. More devices including Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Sticks and Samsung Smart TVs will be supported soon.