Those that have been with Hulu Live TV since the very beginning have encountered multiple price increases. Even though this has resulted in a significant increase in the cost of a subscription, Hulu is far from the exception. The live TV streaming sector in general has seen its fair share of price increases over the years.
While Hulu has been around for many, many years now, the Live TV plan was only made available in 2017. Originally advertised as the Hulu with Live TV (Beta) plan, a subscription combined the basic Hulu on-demand service with a selection of live TV channels. This alone made Hulu Live TV different to other services that either focused primarily on live TV or an on-demand library of titles.
When Hulu Live TV first launched, a standard subscription was priced at just $39.99 a month. Subscribers received access to more than 50 live TV channels, basic Hulu, the ability to watch on 2 screens at the same time, and 50 hours of cloud DVR to record with.
A lot has changed since then, including the price. Below is every price increase that Hulu Live TV subscribers have encountered so far.
Hulu Live TV increases to $45 a month
It would take almost two years before Hulu Live TV encountered its first-ever price increase, and by today’s standards, it wasn’t a very big one. After launching in May of 2019, Hulu announced a live TV price increase on January 23, 2019. The increase was $5 a month, taking the cost of a live TV subscription up to $44.99. While the increase was announced in January, the $44.99 a month rate didn’t take effect until February 26, 2019.
At the time, Hulu Live TV wasn’t as robust of a live TV streaming service as it is today and this can be seen in the channel lineup. When increasing the monthly price from $39.99 to $44.99, Hulu Live TV offered access to 60+ live TV channels.
The 2019 price hike was announced as part of a more general change to Hulu’s pricing. Most interestingly, Hulu lowered the cost of its ad-supported basic Hulu plan to $5.99 a month (down from $7.99). Considering basic Hulu is included with a Hulu Live TV subscription, the live TV plan technically increased by $7 a month, as the live TV portion of the subscription had gone from $32 to $39.
Hulu Live TV increases to $55 a month
While it took almost two years for the first price increase to arrive, the second came much sooner. In fact, Hulu Live TV’s second price increase took place in the same year as the first. It was also a more substantial price increase as well.
In November of 2019, Hulu confirmed that its live TV service was increasing in price by $10, taking the total to $54.99 a month. This effectively meant the cost of a live TV subscription had increased $15 in 2019 alone. Similar to the original price increase, there was a delay between the announcement and the actual rolling out of the price change. Hulu first announced the new price on November 15 and begun charging subscribers $55 a month on December 18, 2019.
By this point, Hulu had grown to become the most popular live TV streaming service in the US. This was something that Hulu was acutely aware of at the time, even understanding that this latest price increase could result in some canceling their subscription. As a result, Hulu also announced that it had made switching between its live TV and on-demand plans even easier.
Hulu Live TV increases to $65 a month
With two price increases in 2019, some may have thought 2020 would pass without a price increase, but that was not the case. Pretty much exactly one year after the last increase, Hulu announced another one. The 2020 price increase was first reported on November 16 and took effect on December 18, 2020, the same date that the previous year’s increase had rolled out.
Just like the second price increase of 2019, the 2020 hike added another $10 to the monthly cost, taking the price of a live TV subscription up to $64.99 a month. The Live TV service had also slightly expanded its channel lineup by this time and was now providing access to 65+ live channels. In comparison, 60+ live channels were offered prior to the late-2019 price increase.
YouTube TV had emerged as the main rival to Hulu Live TV by this time, and YouTube TV had also gone through a number of its own price increases. The latest YouTube TV price increase arrived in June of 2020, increasing the cost to $64.99 a month. Following Hulu’s December 2020 increase, Hulu Live TV and YouTube TV’s base plans were priced exactly the same.
Hulu Live TV increases to $70 a month
December 2021 saw another price increase arrive for Hulu Live TV subscribers. This change marked the third year in a row that Hulu had increased the price during the Holiday season. The original confirmation of the 2021 price increase arrived on November 22, with the higher rate kicking in on December 21.
Compared to the year before, the 2021 price increase was a little more acceptable, as it only added another $5, taking the price up to $69.99 a month. Not to mention, Hulu also began bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with the live TV plan.
With the bundling of these additional services, some homes may have actually found that their overall monthly streaming cost went down, depending on whether they were already paying for either of these additional subscriptions.
Hulu Live TV increases to $77/month
The most recent Hulu Live TV price adjustment arrived in October 2023, and similar to the previous price increases, this one was announced ahead of time. The original confirmation of the increase was provided on August 9, with the higher rate taking effect on October 12, 2023.
In terms of the cost, the 2023 price increase added another $7, taking the price of a live TV subscription up to $76.99 a month. In addition to increasing the price of Hulu Live TV, Disney also took the opportunity to adjust pricing for its other services, with ad-free Disney+, ad-free Hulu, and ESPN+ all increasing in cost on the same day.
In the build up to the October 2023 price increase, Hulu launched a new subscriber promotion that lowered the cost down to just $49.99 a month for the first three months. This promotion ended as soon as the higher rate kicked in on October 12, 2023. At which point, Hulu Live TV had once again become one of the more expensive ways to stream Live TV over the internet.
Hulu Live TV price increases — recap
Hulu Live TV has encountered five major price increases over the years taking the cost of a live TV subscription up from $39.99 to $76.99 a month. In general, 2019 was the worst year for Hulu subscribers considering the cost of a subscription increased by $15 a month over two separate price increases.
Of course, the channel lineup has evolved as well over time. Even though subscribers don’t get all of the same channels they once did, they do now have access to more channels than they ever did before. Not to mention, subscribers also now have access to more content thanks to Disney+ and ESPN+.
At its original $39.99 launch price, Hulu Live TV offered very good value, albeit at a premium when compared to services like Sling TV. Not a lot has changed since then. Even though the price has consistently increased, Hulu Live TV still offers good value, albeit at a premium compared to services like Sling TV.
|Hulu Live TV
|$77+ a month
Disney+ and ESPN+
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