Hulu’s long-awaited live streaming service is finally ready for primetime: It’s up today offering more than 50 channels for $39.99 a month, CEO Mike Hopkins disclosed at the company’s upfront presentation this morning. They’re calling it: Hulu With Live TV (Beta).
Scripps Networks channels including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network made the cut in what’s expected to be one of the more popular virtual pay TV offerings — competing with AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, and Google’s YouTube TV.
Other major programmers including AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, and Viacom are not in the initial offering.
Hulu previously announced it will have services from its owners — Disney, Fox, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, and Time Warner — as well as CBS and A+E Networks.
Hopkins says he wants Hulu to “redefine the way people experience TV.” The service “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.”
Users will be able to access programming on two devices simultaneously. They’ll also have 50 hours of recording storage, with up to six individual profiles. For an additional $14.99 they can watch simultaneously on an unlimited number of in-home screens, or access an “Enhanced Cloud DVR.” It will cost $19.99 to get both.
The offering includes Hulu’s on-demand service with “limited commercials” which costs $7.99 a month outside of the bundle. Those subscribing to the new live streaming service who want no ads in the on-demand content can get that for an additional $4.00 a month.
The on-demand programs include Hulu Originals such as The Path, The Mindy Project, Casual, and The Handmaid’s Tale as well as full seasons of Scripps Networks series.
Sports fans can program Hulu to automatically record games available to them from favorite NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB, MLS and NHL teams, no matter what channel they’re on.
It will also include a “Kids Mode” that limits young viewers to age-appropriate shows.
Subscribers in many, but apparently not all, markets will be able to access local ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC stations’ broadcasts as well as regional sports networks, Hulu says.
Other services include CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, TNT, CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business, MSNBC, Bravo, E!, A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, History, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, and Viceland.
Showtime also is available for an extra $8.99 a month, which includes unlimited on-demand access.
Hulu says it will offer other premium networks “soon.”