Hulu Raises Prices For Top-Tier Plan

(CBS) — Hulu raised prices again for its top-tier subscription plan for live television streaming, as competing television streamers do likewise.

Starting December 18, Hulu’s live streaming plan will cost $55 per month, an increase of $10 a month, or 22%. The price for “Hulu + Live TV,” which includes ads, previously rose $5 a month in February.

Hulu’s standard streaming plan. which is a delayed stream rather than live, costs $6 per month. Its standard plan without ads costs $12 per month.

Hulu’s Live TV service is a replica of traditional television, except that it’s on the internet. Similar services like AT&T’s TV Now, Dish’s Sling and YouTube TV were once touted as successors to traditional cable television, but the market has lost steam as live-TV streamers prices have risen 25% to 30% in recent months. AT&T’s TV Now hiked its price 30% in October to $65 per month.

One early entrant, Sony’s Playstation Vue, is shutting down, and analysts expect others to follow.

Instead, the spotlight has been usurped by new and upcoming cord-cutting services like Apple TV Plus, AT&T’s HBO Max and Comcast’s Peacock. Disney, which owns Hulu, debuted its streaming app Disney+ just this week. Disney also offers a $13 per month bundle of standard plans for Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu, which is on par with Netflix’s most popular streaming plan.

The price hike at Hulu also comes after Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger disclosed that the streaming service will become the streaming home for FX Networks in March. Hulu, which has lagged behind its streaming peers like Netflix, has become the landing pad for more adult-oriented content Disney acquired through its acquisition this year of 21st Century Fox.

FX, which Disney bought as part of that merger, will be a “key content driver” for Hulu, according to Disney CEO Iger. FX has earned 57 Emmy wins since 2014 for its shows that include “American Horror Story,” “The Americans” and “Fargo.”

“The FX presence on Hulu, combined with original production from our ABC and Fox Television Studios and our Fox movie studios, including Searchlight, will greatly enhance Hulu’s consumer proposition,” Disney’s Iger said in the earnings call last week.

Next year, Hulu will debut four new series, including “Devs,” which follows a compute programmer investigating the disappearance of her boyfriend; “Mrs. America,” an equal rights story starring Cate Blanchett; “A Teacher,” about a high school teacher caught having an affair, starring Kate Mara; and “The Old Man,” an action thriller starring Jeff Bridges and John Lithgow.

Hulu will also house live sports, news and entertainment channels, including ESPN, Fox Sports, CNN, FX, TNT, Bravo and all major broadcast networks.

To read the full CBS News article, click here.

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