Disney is recommending Hulu Live TV to Spectrum TV customers affected by the ongoing dispute between Charter Communications and Disney Entertainment. While Hulu Live TV is certainly an option for Spectrum customers, is it the best one?
Following the removal of various Disney-owned channels from Spectrum TV, both sides were fairly quick to put the blame on each other. While Charter accused Disney of wanting to be paid twice for smiler content, Disney said it was Charter that refused to enter into a new agreement.
In an even more recent announcement, Disney explained that it “deeply values its relationship with its viewers and is hopeful Charter is ready to have more conversations that will restore access to its content to Spectrum customers as quickly as possible.”
At the same time, however, Disney also took the dispute as an opportunity to suggest Hulu Live TV as an alternative. For background, Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu.
In making the argument, Disney focused on the 90 live channels, including Disney’s networks and stations, available with a Hulu Live TV subscription, the fact that subscribers can cancel at any time, and how there are no contracts, cable boxes, or waiting period to get started.
Is Hulu the right choice?
Everything Disney said about Hulu Live TV is true, but it is also true of any other live TV streaming service. While Disney did state that “Hulu + Live TV starts at $69.99 a month”, the company neglected to mention that the cost of Hulu Live TV will increase to $76.99 a month in October — something Disney announced last month.
At the higher price, Hulu Live TV will become even more expensive, and more expensive than many other services. Disney did also mention DirecTV Stream, Fubo, Sling TV, and YouTube TV as possible alternatives, but their mentioning was more in passing, with the focus of the announcement clearly on driving Spectrum TV customers towards Hulu Live TV.
In terms of those other options, and Vidgo (which Disney seemed to miss), Sling TV is going to be the cheapest overall. The Sling Orange plan costs $40 a month (currently $20 for the first month), and unlocks access to 30+ channels, including Disney and ESPN.
50 hours DVR
50% Off Your First Month
As for the other services, their base plans are all relatively similar in price to Hulu Live TV.
It is worth noting that, like Sling TV, Vidgo is also currently running a promotion that reduces the cost of its plans down to $20 for the first month. As Vidgo offers a far richer channel lineup than Sling, it may prove to be the better option for any homes switching from Spectrum and expecting a wide variety of channels.
|$69.99+ a month
20 hours DVR
As for whether Spectrum TV subscribers should switch at all, that will come down to their individual needs, the importance (for them) of the Disney-owned channels that were recently removed, and how long they are willing to wait.
On that last point, Disney sent out some very mixed messages in this latest announcement. While the company says it is “hopeful” that negotiations will continue and that the channels will return, its pushing of Spectrum customers towards Hulu Live TV might suggest Disney isn’t quite as hopeful as it says it is.
Spectrum tries to hold on to customers
At the same time as Disney attempting to stir up interest in Hulu Live TV, Spectrum appears to be trying to do what it can to keep customers.
Soon after the dispute first surfaced, Spectrum started emailing customers offering them a special discount on Fubo that reduces the cost of the Ultimate plan by 30% for the first two months.
Since then, Spectrum has also began offering various other promotions, including the ability for customers to ger one free year of Peacock and the option to contact the company to get a one-time $15 statement credit applied to their account.