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Hulu Live TV Service to Be Priced Under $40

Variety logo Variety 1/4/2017 Andrew Wallenstein
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Hulu will offer its upcoming live TV service at a price under $40.

Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins announced the price point at Citi’s 2017 Internet, Media & Telecommunications Conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

“We’re going to try to keep our pricing pretty simple,” he said in a Q&A with analyst Jason Bazinet. “Under $40, that’s going to be the price.”

Hopkins clarified that while Hulu hasn’t figured out what the exact price point will be, the sub-$40 price point will not be an introductory promotional price. AT&T’s rival streaming service DirecTV Now has been criticized for touting a low price of $35 that turned out to be an introductory price that will go up to $60 later this month.

He also shared additional details on the service, which is expected to launch in the first quarter of the year, including the inclusion of Hulu’s existing $8 subscription VOD offering, as well as a cloud DVR.

“We think that’s unique in the marketplace and gives us confidence we’ll be successful,” said Hopkins, who is at CES to showcase the upcoming live service’s user interface, which he touted for its seamless blend of live and on-demand content.

In addition, CBS Corp. has reached a deal to add CBS and other cable channels it owns to Hulu’s upcoming over-the-top channel bundle.

CBS Corp. already struck a deal last October with Google to put its channels on another upcoming OTT package expected in 2017 from YouTube. A similar product launched last month by AT&T, DirecTV Now, has yet to add CBS, though the companies are negotiating.

While the pact gives Hulu the full complement of linear broadcast networks, CBS will hold back rights to full in-season stacks of its primetime series, which will remain exclusive to CBS All Access.

CBS Sports Network and Pop, which CBS co-owns with Lionsgate, will also join the live-TV streaming service; the deal has an option to add other CBS Corp.-owned networks including the CW and Smithsonian in the future.

Hulu will also be able to offer Showtime as an add-on for subscribers to the streaming service. Hulu already offers Showtime as an add-on to its existing subscription VOD offering.

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