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Exclusive: Full Breakdown of Hulu’s New Live TV Service


the-mindy-project-promo-saison1-2jpg-72e2f3_1280wHulu recently confirmed that they plan to jump into the Live TV streaming market. Now Hulu has started sending out surveys to a select number of Hulu subscribers that gives us a detailed look into what Hulu plans to do with their new live TV streaming service. Thankfully, because of several great readers, we can tell you more about what Hulu plans to offer.

The first clear thing we learn from this is the current Hulu plan will be separate from the new streaming service. Signing up for the streaming service under this plan will not include basic Hulu services but you will get a discount. Hulu with commercials will drop to $5.99 a month and the without commercials plan will be $11.99 a month.

You may or may not get local broadcast channels with this new service depending on where you live. It does seem that most packages will include at least on-demand content for ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox; however, we don’t know what that would include, so you may get some of what is currently on Hulu with the new subscription service.

We can confirm that you will be limited to the number of devices you can login on and to your home network. (Similar to how PlayStation Vue limits you to your home.) For $14.99 you will be able to have an unlimited number of “in-home” devices and three mobile devices.

The DVR option for Hulu will not be unlimited. Some plans have a limited space of just 20 hours per account on the DVR. There is also something called Smart Record, but the survey we saw did not explain Smart Record. You will be able to upgrade to 300 hours of DVR space for $19.99 (but we are unsure if this is a monthly or onetime fee).

We did learn that you will NOT be able to fast forward through ads just parts of the show you recorded.

There seems to be two options for your core plans: $34.99 and $49.99. Here is a full breakdown of what comes with both of them: (Note the $34.99 plan only allows you to login on one device. The $49.99 allows you to login on more devices.)

$34.99

3499$49.99

4999Premium channels will be available as add-ons: (All prices are monthly.)

Premium

  • HBO $14.99
  • Showtime $9.99
  • Starz/Encore $9.99
  • Epix $4.99
  • Cinemax $9.99
  • WWE $9.99
  • Fox Soccer Plus $14.99
  • NFL RedZone $9.99

It looks like if you sign up for a premium channel you can get the current Hulu service for $4.99 a month with commercials or $8.99 a month without commercials.

There will be add-on packages including:

Lifestyles $9.99/month

  • Cooking Channel
  • Food Network
  • OWN
  • Travel Channel
  • DIY Network
  • HGTV
  • TLC
  • Velocity

Educational/Kids & Family $9.99/month

  • Animal Planet
  • Discovery Family
  • Science
  • Discovery
  • ID

Music and Entertainment $4.99/month

  • AMC
  • Comedy Central
  • MTV 2
  • TV Land
  • BET
  • IFC
  • Spike
  • VH1
  • CMT
  • MTV
  • SundanceTV

Entertainment $4.99/month

  • Discovery Family
  • OWN
  • Science

Now remember we are maybe six months or so away from Hulu’s new service becoming available to the public so some of this can change, but we should expect this to be close to what they will offer to the public.

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  • Roy

    This is so confusing.

  • john koch

    The good old privately owned local network affiliates clinging to their cable/satellite bribes are the last obstacle preventing these streaming services from being an option for all. Many people live outside the range of ota stations and depend on their provider for the local channels. No locals no NFL. No locals no NCAA football carried by the networks. I have vue now and other than no locals and the occasional 1014 error which I know how to fix quickly I love the service and the price. Unless they add my locals or one of these new services does I will have my cable reconnected on Sept. 1st. I have yet to see a service that provides the locals to everyone. I really do like the channels and prices on this new Hulu though. Just need the locals/

    • anjenaire

      @john koch: Care to share how you quickly fix the 1014 error?

      I feel for you and the local OTA situation. Maybe you need to find a friend with a Sling box or Tablo (or {shudder} Simple.TV) to place shift their local channels and through a few bucks their way to cover the uploading bandwidth.

      • john koch

        when I get the message “you appear to be away from home etc.” error 1014 I simply reboot my dsl modem and fire stick. The reboot of the modem resets my location to what it was when I signed up for vue. I have done this 3 times. Two times it was one reboot and I got my service back immediately. One time I had to do the reboot three times but it worked. Not ideal but it only takes a few minutes and it corrects 1014 for me. I don’t even think I would have to reboot the fire stick just the modem but I do both. I posted this on a vue forum awhile ago but nobody replied to it. Maybe it won’t work for everyone but it definitely works for me. I have dsl through Frontier communication and they move packets of users to different locations from time to time and that is what signals Vue’s geolocator that you are trying to use Vue at a different location. For me the reboot method I described worked well.

  • not excited

    So it’s basically going to cost more than cable does now.

    • Lance

      Your cable must be cheap then. Mine with Comcast after all the deals end will end up being way more expensive to get all those channels.

  • Ben

    I think the pictures are mixed up. The one showing what you get for $34.99 has more channels and features than the one for $49.99.

    Either way, most of the channels are worthless from my perspective. There are maybe 5 channels I might watch. When you start adding in all the “extras” where is the savings over cable?

    Also, the fact you have to pay extra for more tvs/mobile devices and more DVR storage how is this any different than the current cable companies MO?

    Thanks but no thanks.

    • Luke

      If you look at the details you will see that the $35 package only allows you to login on ONE device. The $50 plan allows more devices.

    • Joe

      The way the survey worked was they showed several different possible plans, with the price, a list of channels, and the available add-ons.

    • Joe

      The way the survey worked was it showed several different plans with the price, a list of channels, and the add-ons you could get. It then asked if you would buy it at that price, what add-ons you would get, and if you would keep or change your regular Hulu plan. The $35 and $50 plans are not separate options they will offer everyone; they are examples of the kind of plans they are considering offering. There were additional plans shown, as well, including a $60 plan. Presumably they will use the data from this survey to construct their offerings. If every survey respondent says they won’t buy $50 or $60 plans Hulu won’t offer them.

  • Andrew L

    Too expensive for this cord-cutter! Sling multi-stream gets us every channel we need for $20/month. These huge bundles are why we cut the cord in the first place.

    • Ben M

      That is exactly why I cut the cord….I was paying for 120 channels and watching the same 5-8 including local. Most channels offered are crap starting with mtv. I do not watch that much tv anyway so local channels OTA, netflix, Huluplus commercial free and Amazon prime give me more than enough content to watch with no contract, and for significantly less than I was paying for cable.

  • Bob

    Looks like you get LESS “channels” for the $50 plan than the $40 one …..

    • Luke

      The difference is in the number of devices you get access to.

      • Do they seriously think people will pay $15 more a month for access to ONE additional device while losing access to live local channels, the Turner networks, and access to Discovery networks without an add-on?!

    • DH Coop

      Noticed the same thing. Don’t you (Cord Cutter) have the plans backwards? Dennis

  • Norman

    Looks like a lousy plan. Of the 80 channels in the $34.99 plan, 29 I’d likely watch, 31 rarely if ever, 20 never. Sounds like regular old cable without the boxes. And the suggested device restriction wouldn’t work in our household either. For 20 years we’ve paid for Disney and never watched it. Why am I cutting the cord next month, if I’m just going to end up paying for channels I don’t watch again? Not good.

  • Jay F

    Hulu is missing the point. I, and many other cord cutters, I assume, have no need for many of the channels in their packages. I don’t want a replication of the cable/satellite experience. I want the freedom to select the very few channels I’m interested and to pay only for them. I do not want to subsidize the majority of channels that I do not watch. So yes, I guess I’m talking about ala carte.

    Imagine if each of the cable channels offered their own individual apps, not tied to any package. I used to think CBS was crazy to offer the CBS All Access app instead of including their network programs in with Hulu or other OTT services. I’ve come to realize, however, that CBS has the right idea. If CBS has the programs I’m interested in, then I can pay for ONLY CBS. All the cable channels should learn from CBS’s lead.

  • Elizabeth

    I think the only people who would be interested in this, as it stands, are those who want mostly sports channels. They seem to take up most of the lineup. And, yeah, the price to be able to have more than one device (which most households would need) is similar to cable, with less channels. Cox Communications in my area doesn’t require a contract, so I don’t think the Hulu model is an improvement. If SFNTV improves their UI and gets their DVR working consistently, I’ll probably stay with them.

    • And the multi-stream plan gives you ONE additional device for that $15 and loss of channels!

  • Jason

    It their DVR service doesn’t allow you fast forward through ads I won’t even give this a test. That is the whole reason I DVR my shows.

    Plus, my cable provider doesn’t require a contract and if I go with internet only and no bundle I would end up paying about the same price but without my local channels included.

    So, this sounds like a no go for me.

  • Don K

    Too expensive for the cord cutter IMO! I didn’t cut the cord to save a few bucks, I did it to save a ton of money. Add in your ISP cost and this looks a lot like and over-the-top version of a cable/satellite bundle.

    PS Vue’s “Core Slim” is about as high as I’d go. Of course Sony has already said that once the nationwide rollout of Vue is complete, prices will go up when the “Slim” packages go away. So that leaves them about the same as this. No thanks.

  • Dogman

    Yep – these selections are just like cable and seem to cost as much too. Yep – give us a la carte – let us choose the channels and only pay for the channels we want. So far, Sling TV seems to be the best, but still has channels I don’t watch!

  • Jim

    I’m actually shocked how horrible this service is. I was planning on going Hulu only once this launched but there are so many terrible things about this service I think I’ll stick with Vue (which has gotten much much better lately). Maybe these surveys will result in the roars of customer laughter they deserve. I’ll still be interested to see the final options.

  • Chris

    I will do this. I have a big family so we will do the fifty a month offer and I will add NFL Redzone for the four months that it airs during football season. I love all of the sports channels this offers and the access to the big four networks. Great bundle for a family that likes sports but also streams a lot of Hulu and Netflix.
    Great website by the way, Luke!

  • Walter Comstock

    If you signed up for this why would you need Hulu ? I noticed CBS as on of the stations, would you still need CBS All Access? Wonder if it will have a Roku App? If you don’t have local channels will the price drop? So So many questions. I could not use PlayStation Vue as my iOS address and home address were not the same giving me a 1014 error code, Hulu says it’s going to go the same way I wonder how that going to work? I called my IPS and was told they move my IP address around, what I have today I might not have next week. These streaming services need to do some heavy beta testing before selling to the general public. Just ask PlayStation Vue. The only one who has their s— together is Sling.

  • craig

    Wow. I hope they realize how horrible these packages are and read the feedback. If it going to cost me $50 a month i can just switch between time warner, directv, & dish every two years and come out ahead with cable and home phone plus a working dvr and tv everywhere logins.

  • BA

    I wonder how flexible it will be to add and remove packages. I have a friend who teaches so I could see her having basic Hulu year round and maybe adding the lower package and HBO just during the summer. With cable you can always increase your package but you get penalized for lowering it. I don’t see Hulu or Sling packages as “better” than cable but the flexibility might win me over.

  • Mabel

    Nope, sorry Hulu.

    1. You don’t have all episodes of a series, so if I want to start watching it, I can’t go back and catch up. I’m limited to current episodes and some clips.
    2. You have ads. Netflix has no ads. Even with their own exclusive shows, NO ADS.

    And you want me to pay MORE for this? I was actually considering dumping you because of the first point! I watch my network shows OTA as they air, and if I miss one, it’s a couple of bucks on Amazon. Or, if I get behind, I can wait until the whole thing pops up there or on Netflix. If you’re going to restrict me even there, well, I don’t HAVE to watch anything at all, do I?

    Uh uh. This is just cable in disguise, and it will soon be as annoyingly overpriced as cable is now.

  • Matt

    Most cord cutters quit cable because of the price, when you factor in the price of internet needed to stream the service the $35 option alone will cost about as much as a cable bundle. If they’re smart they’ll offer an option without the local channels for less. Sling just added Viacom networks and didn’t raise the $20 price so for now that fits my needs. Just wish they would do something about the quality of the streams.

    Guess we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

    • Walter Comstock

      Sling added the Viacom for additional charge of $5.00, I find the streaming to be fine, you need to talk to your ISP. At the present time Sling is giving us the most for our money.

  • Caspery

    I’m a Hulu Plus Ad-Free subscriber. $11.99 a month for the network shows with no advertisements and HD quality plus the Criterion collection has been well worth it. Of course, now that the Criterion collection will be leaving in Novemeber for the the Filmstruck app (a partnership with TCM), one wonders how much the service is really going to be worth…and Hulu’s movie library outside of the Criterion collection is absolutely ghastly.

    This is what they should have done with their television service:

    1) No Add-Ons other than things like HBO and the like. In other words, don’t have, say one Hulu member paying $11.99 a month and then $3 more or some random package containing a few cable networks, etc.

    2) It should just be a single fee of say $40 for the main collection of cable channels and that INCLUDES all of the regular HULU Ad-Free content.

    3) There should be EXTRA Hulu content. So, if you subscribe to a network like FX as part of Hulu’s cable deal, you should be able to have all of their shows as well. This extra content would only be accessible with the cable package.

    At the end of the day, Hulu should just be two options:

    Tier 1) 11.99 for no Ads

    Tier 2) Live television channels plus extra content from said channels plus all of the usual content from Tier 1. Live television will have ads, DVR should let you skip them, live channel content on Hulu would always be ad-free and new content uploaded the next day if it’s a show of significance.

    And if they had to go with a higher price tag for all of this since the day-after content would all be ad-free, then so be it.

    Also, they shouldn’t be charging $9.99 for Showtime when the Add-On for Hulu is currently 7.99. Yes, you could watch programs live if you have the channels package, but it just doesn’t make sense to charge people more for basically the same stuff. Just give it out for the same price as the regular Hulu add-on. Again, simplicity is key, rather than confusion.

    Finally, I’m all for a la carte, but you can see where I’m getting at with how those weird mini-bundles from the survey will just confuse everyone. Either have just one BIG package with ONE price or actually allow for individual channel buying a la carte (which is where the future inevitably is).

  • Rob

    This plan as it stands is Dead on Arrival

    Way over priced and just a cable/satellite package for internet….. rather then a cord cutter friendly offering

  • Nathan

    Ditch ESPN, lower the price, and I’d be interested.

  • deebrown921

    Way too expensive. Most families will need multi stream. And at $49.99 plus an internet package it’s gonna be as expensive as a cable package with less channels!

  • Mark

    Can’t ff through commercial, over-priced, really what is the point they should just scrap the idea. Hulu won’t be able to make the networks that own them and their customers happy on the price and basic structure of this service

  • David1970

    It looks like Comcast designed this for Hulu. You should not have to study the menu fo a week to find out your about to be ripped off again. I have Hulu no commercial service. I do not use it every day and use it less than Netflix. I saved about $60 a month getting rid of Comcast phone and TV. Now I’m going to give that savings to Hulu? I added an antenna and I have Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon. I had each of these services and Comcast. In the fall I will add CBS All Access and get rid of Hulu. Oh, when I go rid of Comcast I added PS Vue for $30. I don’t want to be held captive by one company like … Hulu who will then become Comcast. Yes, Comcast owns 1/3 of Hulu. Now we know where this bad idea came from. No thanks ComHulu.

  • disqus_elQAFenkA7

    Playstation Vue does not cap the number of simultaneous devices and is $29.99. Hulu’s product is not very tempting for people who are looking to jump from traditional “cable” providers… As long as Sling and PS Vue are around anyway. Back to the drawing board Hulu.

  • Soniccrash

    These look like the same plans the cable offers were is the savings

  • movie12344

    if someone coming in competition 1: make stream quality to 4k , 2: up to 5 stream and no home restricted ,3: best dvr support for about 90 days or 6 month to save programs ,4: about same PlayStation vue type channels in slim package and also la crate option for every channel people want to watch for about $1.99 each channel .
    i am very happy with PlayStation vue all the best channels is there i watch , i pay only $30 ,just few thing ,if they can add separate sport package , and reduce price to $25 and also local channel option for everybody to save $10 each , and make dvr for save program to 90 days and no restriction at home .they will be no 1 in the market ,

  • CommodoreFan64

    I’ll stick with my SlingTV as all I really got for was the Disney channel for the kids, El Rey Network for Lucha Underground, and ESPN for college football season, and it’s 1/2 the price. Regular Hulu is more then enough.

  • vloryan

    What about NBC Golf?

  • SkeeterN

    With prices this high why bother?

  • Mike

    Hulu really seems to be missing the reason so many people are cutting cable and getting their service in the first place.

  • Brandon

    Plan has everything I want at a price that I’m okay with, count me in…

  • I’m reading a lot of criticism of this new package in this comment thread. But heck, it’s another choice and people can either take it or leave it. For $35 it probably will be slightly cheaper than basic cable and satellite packages. They may be catering to the 27% of Americans who live alone. To them the restriction to one device at a time is not relevant. But myself, even though I live alone, I think I’ll pass, but if it’s attractive to you, then by all means go for it. I will stick to 25 OTA channels and Netflix and ad-free Hulu. That’s plenty enough content for me, especially since I don’t watch a lot of live sporting events.

  • horror hideout

    I had Dish for years. All these plans, Sony Vue, Hulu, Sling are all light years lower than my Dish plans were. And I only had the 120 with HD plan. And my bill was NEVER below $90. By the time all the fees were included. And you had to have internet in your house anyway? So why are so many people looking at the price on this stuff as being high? Cord cutting to me is about cost savings. Not elimination completely. We save right around $50 a month using Sling TV. Heck, being a sports fan that’s about as low as I am going to get. Or somewhere in that range.

  • George Shiflett

    Have better service with sling , more channels, plus using KODI , don’t need anything more than Sling , 69 chanels so far and growing

  • Donna

    They would have been smart to include Hulu for free to their subscribers. As a subscriber it would have made me stop and think, I have PSVue $29.99 plus Hulu for $7.99 = $37.98 Hulu new streaming package $34.99, so if Hulu was included I would save money, not a lot but enough to give me pause for thought.

  • Robert Greenly

    Hell, that’s half the reason I left cable. So if Hulu is the place to go to watch episodes from any season you want, from your favorite show, why do you need a DVR option? Why would I pay more, to decrease my viewing capability of my favorite shows? I think waiting the extra day would be worth it compared to being limited to how many episodes I can save on a DVR.

  • John Hixson

    This is worthless. Too expensive. May as well get cable back. When are they going to learn? We want to pick the channels we watch! We do not want to pay for 30 channels we never watch. I’ll stay with Sling which is only 20 dollars a month.

  • Tony Paulinsky

    hulu…are you reading the comments? Seems like a crash and burn project if you read correctly. Just stay with comca$t and pay the same amount

  • TS Atomic

    One in-home device $35. Jumps to $50 for more than one… That kills the deal, graveyard dead.

  • GA_Mamaw

    Why can’t someone design a completely a la carte menu? I wouldn’t mind paying an individual price for just the channels I watch, or maybe step-up package prices for 5 channels of your choice, 10 channels of your choice, etc. I personally do not watch sports, and my basic Sling package has at least 8 individual sports channels that are never watched (most of the time they show “signed off”, so they are not even broadcasting). It just doesn’t make sense to throw together a bunch of random channels that are not watched. Hopefully someone will eventually get it when the number of cord cutters increases exponentially.

  • Rick Minor

    The listing for the 44.99 option says that logins are limited to one device, not “login on more devices” as the article states.

  • Kevin Smith

    LOL…NOPE. Why the heck would I do all that to be right back where I started with cable as far as overpriced!? Lousy plans, same as what Google announced with Youtube Tv. Seems like the only competition is Vue, Sling and Directv Now. Hulu and Google don’t want to compete AT ALL!

  • LynnFo Loewen

    Toying with this for DVR service but only 20 hours and expensive.

  • Skippyfab

    Why would anyone switch from a current streaming plan to this. It’s like they kept the one thing that drives people nuts about cable – the pricing scheme. Right now I pay $70 for PS Vue and the basic Dish package (for locals) If I wanted the same channels with the Hulu service, I would have to pay $80 and still wouldn’t have locals. If this is the final product, they missed the mark badly.

  • Diana

    HULU…START AN INTERNET PROVISION SECTOR & CHARGE US DOUBLE YOUR HULU 11.99 to 22.99 & you would make a FORTUNE…maybe?…don’t know how the technical side of fiberoptic cable would $