Hulu’s live TV streaming service has been rumored for quite some time.
At the company’s annual Upfront presentation today, it announced the beta version of the service. You can now sign up for Hulu with Live TV, a $40-per-month package that includes all the benefits of Hulu’s monthly $7.99 streaming service while adding live TV streams from over 50 channels. It’s clear from the service’s initial offerings that Hulu tried to fill in the weak spots of its competitors while tempting potential subscribers with an interface that puts all their favorite content, live or on-demand, in one place.
Let’s start off with the available channels: Hulu with Live TV has all the major broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—along with a variety of news, entertainment, and sports channels. Hulu struck a deal with Scripps Network to provide channels including HGTV, Travel Channel, and Food Network, and it’s also launching with other popular networks including TNT, A&E, FX, USA, Syfy, CNN, TBS, and Viceland. Many major sports networks are included as well, like CBS Sports, FS1, FS2, ESPN, ESPNU, and NBCSN.
In comparison, for just $5 more than YouTube TV’s $35-per-month service, you’ll get ten more channels from Hulu’s service. Hulu was likely able to bolster its at-launch channel list thanks to its owners: Walt Disney Company, 21st Century Fox, Comcast, and Time Warner. But as with any live TV streaming service, the total channel count might be slightly different depending on where you live.
Hulu with Live TV’s $40 price also includes the company’s $7.99 streaming features, so you’ll have access to the on-demand shows available in that monthly subscription in addition to live TV. One subscription also includes 50 hours of cloud DVR storage, six individual viewer profiles, and two simultaneous streams. While it offers the same number of viewer profiles as YouTube TV, Hulu’s service is subpar in the other two ways. YouTube TV gives you unlimited cloud DVR storage and three simultaneous streams at no extra cost, and even Sling TV’s beta cloud DVR service gives you 100 hours of storage.
DirecTV Now remains the only service without cloud DVR functionality, but Hulu’s basic plan still provides fewer hours of storage than any other available plan.
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