Hulu Raises Price of Live TV Bundle

Randy Freer Hulu - H - 2018

It will now cost $55 to access the package of 60-plus TV channels.

Live TV is getting a little more expensive on Hulu. 

The streamer is raising the price of its bundle to $55 per month beginning on Dec. 18, it revealed in a blog post on Friday morning. That's an increase of 22 percent from the previous $45-per-month price tag. "The new price better reflects the substantial value of Hulu + Live TV and allows us to continue offering all of the popular live news, sports and entertainment programming included in the plan," the company wrote.

The live TV bundle is one option for Hulu subscribers: It also offers access to on-demand programming for $6 per month (with ads) or $12 per month (without ads). Disney-owned Hulu now is also part of a bundle that includes Disney+ and ESPN+ for a $13 monthly fee. 

When Hulu first launchd its live TV offering in 2017, it cost just $40 per month. But the price has slowly crept up as the company has added more channels to the lineup.

These internet-enabled bundles sell themselves as alternatives to the costly and restrictive cable bundle, and often promote tech features like unlimited DVR and the ability to download programming. But the live bundle business has been a challenging one. Because of the competitive landscape, companies have to price their services cheaply to attract subscribers, which means that they often make little (if any) money on the product. As prices rise, customers are likely to drop off. AT&T, for instance, lost 195,000 DirecTV Now subscribers during the third quarter of the year, and Sony has decided to shut down its 4-year-old Vue offering after garnering only 800,000 total subscribers. 

Hulu's last public update on live TV was in late 2018, when it said the service had topped 1 million subscribers that fall. 

"Price changes are never easy to stomach, and we know that many people don’t watch live television year-round, so we’ve made it easy for Hulu subscribers to switch back and forth between our plans to best suit their needs," the company's blog post reads, noting, "we’re actively exploring ways to provide additional, more tailored live TV options to you in the future."