Hulu is officially launching the beta version of its live TV product today, offering access to more than 50 channels for $39.99 per month.
Those channels will include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and local affiliates, along with ESPN, CNN, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, FX, USA Network and many more.
Hulu also announced that it’s signed a deal with Scripps Networks Interactive to bring their channels — including HGTV, Travel Channel and Food Network — into the live TV service.
The company is unveiling Hulu With Live TV (that’s the official name) at a New York City event for press and advertisers. The announcement (just barely) sticks to CEO Mike Hopkins’ earlier statement that the service would cost “under $40” — my colleague Sarah Perez reported last month that the price would be $39.99.
Other companies like AT&T/DirecTV and Google/YouTube have recently launched stripped down cable packages at similar pricing levels that, like Hulu, allow you to watch TV on connected TV devices, but also on computers and mobile devices. Today, Hopkins argued that Hulu is more than just a “skinny” cable bundle, but an entirely new TV experience, because it blends live TV with Hulu’s on-demand TV library, and because it creates a personalized experience where users get fast access to their favorite shows, movies and channels.
With a basic Hulu With Live TV subscription, you can create six individual profiles and view two streams simultaneously. You also get 50 hours of DVR storage. You can pay extra for more storage ($14.99 per month), unlimited simultaneous streams ($14.99), both unlimited storage and simultaneous streams ($19.99) and Showtime ($8.99).
Hulu made a big announcement on the Originals front today — The Handmaid’s Tale, which Hopkins said was the service’s most-watched premiere ever, has been reviewed for a second season.