TV Answer Man, I saw something about Hulu’s live service raising prices again. Didn’t they just raise the price? I am so sick of these companies always raising their prices on us. — Barbara, Toledo, Ohio.
Barbara, Hulu Live will increase its ads-included monthly price from $64.99 to $69.99 on December 21. The edition without ads will rise from $70.99 a month to $75.99 a month. The last time the live streamer raised its price was in December of last year when its ads-included edition jumped from $54.99 a month to $64.99 a month.
But there is something different about this rate hike. Disney, which owns Hulu, is bundling Disney+ and ESPN+ with the increase. So you will get all three streaming services for $70.99 or $75.99 a month, depending upon which version you get.
You might say, hey TV Answer Man, I don’t want the bundle. I just want Hulu Live — and I don’t want to pay more for it. They can keep Disney+ and ESPN+ and let me keep the cheaper Hulu.
Sorry, no dice. The bundle, and the higher price, are not optional. You want Hulu Live? You’ll have to pay more and take the bundle along with it.
Disney is looking to expand its audience for Disney+ and ESPN+, and it’s using Hulu Live’s roughly four million subscriber base to do it. That may not seem fair, but that’s the nature of the TV business as cable and satellite subscribers have long known. The programming bundle still reigns supreme.
Barbara, hope that makes sense. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann