Hulu is expanding programming options available to its live-streaming TV customers — without raising the price of its core bundle.
The company announced two new network add-on tiers: The Español pack, priced at an additional $4.99 monthly, with access to ESPN Deportes, NBC Universo, CNN En Español and History Channel En Español; and the Entertainment add-on, an extra $7.99 per month, which includes LMN (Lifetime Movie Network), FYI, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and CNBC World.
Later in 2018, with the launch of Discovery on Hulu with Live TV, the service will add networks from the Discovery family to the Entertainment add-ons, including Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, Discovery Family, Science and Destination America.
The optional programming packs are in addition to the $40-per-month price of Hulu With Live TV, which provides more than 50 networks including local ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC stations in most markets as well as cable channels like ESPN, CNN, Fox News Channel and TBS. Hulu With Live TV subs also can subscribe to premium networks HBO, Cinemax, Showtime and Starz for additional monthly fees.
In September, Hulu said it had surpassed 1 million subscribers, about a year and half after the launch of the over-the-top live TV service aimed at cord-cutters and cord-nevers. It competes with a range of other “virtual” pay-TV services, including AT&T’s DirecTV Now, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Sony’s PlayStation Vue, Google’s YouTube TV and FuboTV.
So far, Hulu’s OTT television service has not been a huge moneymaker for the joint venture, which saw its second-quarter 2018 losses double to $357 million.
Hulu is now mulling the introduction of lower-cost live TV bundles that would eliminate linear feeds of entertainment cable TV networks to reduce programming costs and improve the profitability. The company just hired former YouTube exec Heather Moosnick as SVP of content partnerships to head up live and on-demand programming acquisition.