Hulu will offer its live TV bundle subscribers unlimited DVR capacity at no extra charge starting April 13.
The move brings Hulu + Live TV in line with YouTube TV, which has made its unlimited DVR a key selling point since its 2017 launch. The two services lead the internet pay-TV market, with Disney reporting 4.3 million live bundle subscribers for Hulu as of January 1. YouTube TV is believed to be in a similar range, though the company hasn’t reported any official numbers recently.
The DVR move follows the inclusion last November of Disney+ and ESPN+ as part of a Hulu + Live TV subscription.
“Hulu + Live TV is becoming even more valuable and attractive to consumers,” Hulu president Joe Earley said. “Through one single subscription, users get access to 80+ live channels – including all the major broadcast networks – as well as Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+, and soon Unlimited DVR. We will be one of the only pay TV providers – traditional or streaming – to offer this feature as part of the base plan at no additional cost.”
The new DVR setup will allow recordings to be played back and fast-forwarded for up to nine months. Subscribers previously got up to 50 hours of DVR storage, with an option to boost that to 200 hours for an extra monthly fee. The Enhanced Cloud DVR add-on was $9.99 per month, while the Enhanced Cloud DVR + Unlimited Screens bundle was $14.98 per month. Customers who had either will be migrated to the new fee structure and have their monthly bill decrease.
Hulu’s live TV bundle, which has grown into one of the largest U.S. pay-TV operators since its launch in 2017. While it faces the same programming cost pressures that all distributors face, mainly due to rising sports rights fees, Hulu + Live TV remains a strategic asset as Disney works toward its overall streaming goals. The company raised its overall guidance in December 2020, upping the target for Hulu to 50 million to 60 million subscribers by end of fiscal 2024, including the live bundle.
Beyond the 4.3 million live TV customers, Hulu had 42 million stand-alone subscribers to its on-demand streaming service as of Disney’s most recent quarterly report.
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