The live TV streaming market just got a little more competitive, as Hulu today announced its own offering: Hulu with Live TV. Available now in beta and starting at $39.99 per month, the new service packs 50 channels including major broadcast and sports networks and a cloud-based DVR.
While that price puts Hulu's Live TV in a tie for the most expensive starting price (both it and PlayStation Vue start at $40 per month), it offers a few more channels than PS Vue ("More than 45") and the recently-announced YouTube TV ($35 per month), which got slammed for what's not in its 40 channel assortment.
And Hulu's 10 extra channels include important ones, such as History Channel, Food Network, Cartoon Network, A&E and Viceland. Unfortunately, Hulu's package has one of the same flaws as YouTube TV's offerings: no Viacom networks (which include Comedy Central, MTV, BET and VH1).
The service includes most of the major broadcast TV networks, with ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC but not The CW. It also includes the basic cable TV standards such as TNT, USA, Syfy, E!, HGTV, Lifetime, FX, and TBS.
Hulu with Live TV also packs a strong live cable news lineup including MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, and CNBC. Sports-lovers can look forward to ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPNEWS, CBS Sports, The Golf Channel and Fox Sports 1 & 2.
If all that's not enough, Showtime can be added on for $8.99 per month. No word about HBO coming to the service.
To start, the service will be available on iOS and Android devices, Chromecast and Chromecast-enabled TVs, the Apple TV and Xbox One. Hulu says support for Roku, Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players, Hulu.com and Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Sticks is "coming soon."
The Hulu Cloud DVR service offers 50 hours of storage, which can be extended to 200 hours with the Enhanced Cloud DVR package (an extra $14.99 per month). The standard Hulu with Live TV package offers 6 profiles and 2 simultaneous streams, and there's a $14.99 per month Unlimited Screens add-on for unlimited simultaneous streams in the household at once, as well as three from other locations.
Hulu's Live TV service typically includes its on-demand content, though you can save a buck on its $39 per month Live TV Only plan.
We look forward to getting our hands on Hulu with Live TV to share our insights on where it stands among the competition.