Hulu Will Soon Offer Live TV for Less Than $40
Hulu has teamed up with CBS to bring some of the network's live shows to the streaming service, offering cord cutters a compelling new option.
The deal means that Hulu will carry the CBS Sports Network (including NFL on CBS), CBS primetime shows, and Pop, a pop culture cable channel. Hulu, in turn, will reportedly pay CBS $3 to $4 per subscriber.
Unfortunately for viewers, Hulu will only get a few recent episodes of CBS primetime shows. To catch up on the entire current season of The Big Bang Theory or NCIS, you'll still need CBS All Access (from $5.99 a month), the network's own streaming service.
Pay Under $40 for Dozens of Channels
The deal comes on the heels of Hulu's agreements with 21st Century Fox, Disney, and Turner, adding dozens of channels to its launch-day lineup.
At a reported sub-$40 price point that includes the current Hulu catalog, it's clear that Hulu intends to be a serious contender in the live streaming marketplace when the service launches in the first quarter of 2017.
How Hulu Compares to Other Live Streaming Services
As we reported earlier, AT&T, Sony, and Dish Network all offer live streaming services, but their prices, channels, and features vary greatly. While the details of Hulu's offering are still uncertain, it's not too early to draw some comparisons.
AT&T's DirecTV Now lists more channels than Hulu has announced. However, AT&T only offered the $35 introductory price for its Go Big plan to people who signed up by January 10. If you missed out, you'll have to pay an eye-watering $60 a month for that package of 100-plus channels. And unlike Hulu, DirecTV Now doesn't offer DVR functionality.
Dish Network's Sling TV starts out at a much lower price point than Hulu, but getting the channels you want can spiral into a dizzying spreadsheet of add-on packages. The costs and channel options vary depending on whether you get Sling Orange ($20), Sling Blue ($25), or Sling Orange + Blue ($40). And like DirecTV Now, Sling TV doesn't include widespread DVR functionality, though it is running a cloud DVR beta program.
Sony's PlayStation Vue may be Hulu's strongest challenger. It has a solid channel lineup at a competitive price point — $30 for the base package, $40 in some major metros — and working DVR functionality.
All three current services stream local broadcast affiliates in select markets, but whether Hulu will follow suit is anyone's guess. And while the three services offer an HBO add-on, we haven't seen one from Hulu — so your Game of Thrones fix will likely have to come from somewhere else.
What do you think, readers? How does Hulu stack up against what you want to see in a live streaming service? Are you happy with your current service, or are you interested in Hulu now? Let us know in the comments below!