TV Answer Man, I love sports which is why I still get cable TV service. My question is does Hulu offer the regional sports channels in their more expensive service? I would get it if it does. — Aaron, Bowie, Maryland.
Aaron, as you may know, Hulu’s live streaming service costs $64.99 a month and can be seen on many devices including Roku and Amazon’s Fire TV.
But can you watch the regional sports networks on Hulu Live?
The answer is that it depends upon where you live.
Hulu Live carries the NBC Sports regional channels in the Washington D.C. area, Philadelphia, the Pacific Northwest, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston as well as SportsNet New York, the TV home of the New York Mets.
But it does not carry the 19 Sinclair-owned Bally Sports regional sports channels, nor other regional sports channels such as the AT&T-named networks, MASN, SportsNet LA, Alttitude, or NESN. Hulu has been engaged in various disputes with the regionals, claiming they charge too much money for their carriage rights.
This is not an uncommon situation in the live streaming category. Whether it’s Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling TV or FuboTV, the streamers’ profit margins are so thin that it’s hard for them to justify paying the regional sports channels, which do charge more than most channels. (AT&T TV is the only live streamer that does carry most regional sports networks.)
I don’t expect this will change anytime soon. The live streamers are trying to keep their prices as low as possible to entice cord-cutters so they simply don’t have the cash reserves to add more sports channels.
Aaron, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann