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Hulu Launches Its Live TV Streaming Service (fortune.com) 53

Hulu has officially unveiled its $40-a-month live-television streaming service to help it better compete against larger rivals like Netflix. Fortune reports: On Wednesday morning, Hulu announced the launch of the public beta version of Hulu with Live TV, which starts at $39.99 and allows users to stream live and on-demand programming from more than 50 TV channels running the gamut of live news, entertainment, and sports. The cost of the new service also includes access to Hulu's existing $7.99 premium streaming subscription and access to the company's library of archived content, which includes more than 3,500 film and TV titles. Subscribers to the new live service also get 50 hours of storage for recording programming, the ability to create up to six separate Hulu viewer profiles, and two simultaneous streams per account. The launch comes days after Hulu announced that it secured the final major piece in its live-television puzzle in the form of an agreement with Comcast's NBCUniversal to add several NBC- and Telemundo-owned channels to the Live TV lineup. That deal gave Hulu access to all four major broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. The new live service also includes popular cable networks such as CNN, ESPN, FX, Fox News, TBS, TNT, and the Disney Channel. The only premium cable network currently available on the new live service is Showtime, which costs an additional $8.99 per month. Cable networks such as HBO, AMC Networks, Viacom's Comedy Central and MTV are among those not currently included in Hulu's new service, though the company said on Wednesday that additional premium network add-ons will be available soon.
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Hulu Launches Its Live TV Streaming Service

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  • Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dugancent ( 2616577 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @05:28PM (#54351001)

    With all the streaming services available, it's not much cheaper than cable. I'm happy with my $9.99 Netflix and $7.99 Hulu. Anything above $30 (total for all streaming video) is a waste of money.

    • Re:Meh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Moheeheeko ( 1682914 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @05:34PM (#54351049)
      If Hulu wants to make more money, they should stop forcing paying customers to watch commercials. That's the main reason I don't have a Hulu subscription, and i'm sure i'm not alone.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        you can pay to remove commersials. they are going in a direction of too much capitalization but if people are willing to pay for all that i guess it is ok by most of there user base or they would not stay in buisness.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          That's what the $9/mo was originally for, and I was happy to pay it at the time. And then they introduced brief 15-second ads. Then more, and longer, and now it's just aggravating, I can't stand it. I'm willing to bet anything they currently advertise as ad-free is going to go the exact same way. Knowing who it's owned by, I'd say it's a safe bet.
      • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
        I don't see the problem.... Hulu Plus only costs $12 (compared to $8 for the basic service) and you get commercial free. So $4 a month extra for commercial free. I am disappointed in the service, as shortly after I subscribed they seem to have lost a lot of the current (day-of or day-after) shows that I'm interested in. If I want to watch past seasons of something, I have netflix. However, for the shows I do watch, $4 for no commercials is very nice. I'd pay double the price of Hulu plus to get all the
        • Mostly commercial free, shows form some providers get "limited" ads at the beginning and end even with the $4 surcharge. WTF?

          • I believe, and I may be wrong about this, that those ads are actually part of the video provided to Hulu, rather than being inserted by Hulu themselves.
            • regardless, fuck advertisements. that's precisely why many people (myself included) have cut the cord.

              it's why netflix is so successful.

              At this point time being forced to watch or listen to advertisements is an insult.

              Madison Avenue's days are numbered.. (okay not quite yet, but one can hope.)

              • If the ad is part of the video supplied to Hulu, it would be part of the video supplied to Netflix, as well. I subscribe to both services and, well, I'll tell you it's sure nice not having to wait until the next season of a show starts and I've already had the previous season's spoilers crammed down my throat before I get to watch a show. Perhaps that's why Hulu is so successful.
        • ... The big question here is, if you use their DVR service, can you fast forward through commercials? If not then it's pointless to me.

          Yes, as per their webs its, the DVR function allows you to skip ads. It's even listed as a selling point.. "Fast-forward through commercials"

      • They offer that. Regular Hulu comes with commercials, but for a few dollars more you get it without. It's more expensive than Netflix without commercials, but Netflix has a different type of library (both show movies, but Netflix does HBO type content of its own, while Hulu shows most broadcast TV shows.)
      • they should stop forcing paying customers to watch commercials. That's the main reason I don't have a Hulu subscription,

        But I do have a Plex subscription. And an OTA Tivo Bolt. And even a TPB subscription!

        I'm currently engaged to a girl who seems to like commercials -- I suspect it's just because she's had no other way of interaction or choice. We had a slight run-in last night when we were watching a DVD she bought and I was griping about watching the leading forced-commercials for I swear 5 minutes. "You'll just have to put up with it" she said. "No, I _DON'T_", I replied, and did something else in another room, retu

    • With all the streaming services available, it's not much cheaper than cable.

      Cheaper? It costs more than cable. I should know. Charter has been spamming the ever-living shit out of me with actual paper mail every week for literally years, trying to get me to pay them $30/month to add cable TV to my Internet service. They're a major fraction of the contents of my recycle bin. This service appears to have even fewer channels (Charter's list includes AMC, Comedy Central, and MTV), but adds the on-demand stuff already available from Hulu for $8/month. Which you can buy for, effect

      • I don't have a use for services that stream cable TV channels. It's the same lame channels I wasn't watching back when I had cable TV, just delivered a different way. I'll stick with the current ad-free "on demand" Hulu I'm currently subscribing to. For "live TV", I'm getting 22 channels free over the air.
    • And if it is like the $7.99 Hulu.... WHERE IS RICK & MORTY SEASON 3?!?!?

      They have some nice content, just not a lot of it at any particular time.

  • No thanks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @05:31PM (#54351021) Journal
    Looks like a big bundle of stuff, where you pay for things you don't want. Just like when I canceled cable.

    • Also, honestly... I don't really want to watch live TV. I suppose there are some events that I'd want to watch live, e.g. news, sporting events, live political events. Other than that, though, I want to be able to watch what I want, when I want to watch it, commercial free.

      I see that they have a "cloud DVR", but why should I have to figure out that whole song and dance? That is, why should I have to record a show from a streaming live TV channel in a cloud DVR, just in order to watch the show on a video

  • by CrashNBrn ( 1143981 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @05:32PM (#54351029)
    So Hulu negotiated deals with it's Parent companies? Amazing.

    Hulu announced that it secured the final major piece in its live-television puzzle in the form of an agreement with Comcast's NBCUniversal

    Hulu @ Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

    Hulu (stylized as hulu) is an American subscription video on demand service owned by Hulu LLC, a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company (through Disney–ABC Television Group) (30%), 21st Century Fox (through Fox Entertainment Group) (30%), Comcast (through NBCUniversal) (30%), and as of August 10, 2016, Time Warner

  • No AMC? That's a non-starter. I selected PSVue because it was the only one that had the channels that I want (which includes AMC) and has a decent user interface (which means no Sling). I don't even use the PSVue service very often, I just watch most shows the next day on Hulu without commercials. I mostly use PSVue to record Walking Dead and The Americans.
    • That's what I thought... No Walking Dead? No thank you. (The Americans is on FX)

    • by gfxguy ( 98788 )
      The ability to skip commercials on their "DVR" service would cost an extra $20 (expanding your hours from 50 to 200, also). So now at $60/month for commercial skipping where you don't even get some of the best current shows, it's really just a waste. The promise of streaming services is failing - it's still far easier to deal with a nightmare like comcast and their DVR service than to get 5 different online streaming services, all with different UIs and restrictions, to legally get all the content you're
      • Vudu [vudu.com], which is how I'm watching the current season of Better Call Saul. [amc.com]

        I paid like $30, and I get to watch each episode the day after it comes out. At that price, it's not a heck of a lot different from buying a Blu-Ray set, and I don't have to wait.

        Of course, if I were more patient, all the episodes would be on Netflix in about a year.

  • Or Hell No?

  • Commercials = nope (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @05:59PM (#54351147)

    Pay streaming service that includes forced commercials. Nope! No thanks! I will stick with cable and my TiVo plus Netflix.

  • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:02PM (#54351155)

    People are dropping cable to get away from expensive bundles. The only company that seems to truly understand this is Netflix. And unlike Hulu, Netflix is available world-wide.

  • touch choices (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xfizik ( 3491039 ) on Wednesday May 03, 2017 @06:14PM (#54351203)
    Wow. $10 for Netflix vs $40 for useless live TV crap. What a tough choice. NOT.
    • it's really.. 10 bucks for netflix, 0 dollars for anything else not foudn on netflix and that's available on TPB (or wherever)

      Really the value proposition here definitely swings towards services like hulu, or barring that $70+ per month for cable tv right? The prospect of getting to pay MORE for an inferior product is absolutely the way to go.

      side note: a clue that these companies could take regarding their business models.. if you have to resort to legislation in order to drive the behavior of your consum

  • We shouldn't be supporting anybody who does that.

  • Are they for real? They would have to pay me $40/mo to watch those commercial-ridden, mostly worthless, channels.
  • Hulu:
    $40 for service
    $4 for ad-free on some items
    $20 for DVR
    $64 total

    Right now, I get cable internet and no TV. If I add TV to my subscription, I'd only be paying an extra $30-$40 per month for essentially the same crappy, ad-riddled cable package that Hulu is selling. Why would I bother ordering cable TV from Hulu instead of from my cable company? To whom is this product supposed to appeal?

  • That deal gave Hulu access to all four major broadcast networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. The new live service also includes popular cable networks such as CNN, ESPN, FX, Fox News, TBS, TNT, and the Disney Channel.

    Here are the channel lineups [cnet.com] for YouTube TV, Sling, DirecTV Now, and Playstation Vue.

    • YouTube TV does not include CNN, TBS, TNT.
    • Sling offers all those cable channels except Fox News in their $25/mo plan.
    • DirecTV Now offers all those cable channels in their cheapest ($35/mo) plan.
    • Playstation Vue
    • Most people can get multiple channels and subchannels of the local ABC.NBC,CBS, FOX,CW and PBS plus a lot of others OTA on an antenna. For just the cost of an antenna. Watch live or add a tuner card to a cheap HTPC then download XBMC/Kodi and you have a DVR with as much storage as you like.

  • I really don't get it. If you want a service that lets you watch whatever you want, whenever you want, that costs $8/month. But for a service where you only get to pick from a set of fixed streams and you're stuck watching whatever programs they choose to broadcast, they charge $40/month (ok, call it $32/month since they also throw in the standard streaming service). So they charge a lot more for an inferior product. Why???

  • Hulu *says* they provide NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox.

    Now, I'm a news junkie; so I would happily pay the $40/month to access those four networks alone. I tried Sony's offering - which only has NBC (and a crappy UI). So I was eagerly awaiting Hulu's offering.

    But: they don't do what they say. Where I live, they provide live tv for.... nothing. They only have NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox "On Demand". Not live.

    So, $40/mo for a handful of reruns? I don't think so.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson