By Jim Kimble / Updated November 8, 2023
Hulu’s live TV service ranks as one of the best values around for people looking to get rid of cable TV, but keep their local channels, cable news and sports networks.
At $76.99 per month, subscribers get more than 90 live TV channels and unlimited access (with ads) to Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s on-demand library of movies and TV shows.
Hulu started out as an an alternative for cord-cutters who could wait a day to watch new TV shows from broadcast television. Hulu began offering live TV channels in May 2017, and has been gradually adding channels and offering a wider selection of subscriptions.
I have subscribed to Hulu Live TV on and off since its inception along with its leading competitors such as YouTube TV. Hulu has followed the trend of rising prices to supply customers cable TV channels. But it stands out by bundling Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ into a single package, making it a significant value for households with diverse interests.
Hulu plans, pricing and subscription tiers
|Hulu Live TV Plans||Price||Features|
|With Ads + Live TV, Disney+ (With Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads)||$76.99||90 TV channels, on-demand ad-supported content|
|No Ads + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads)||$89.99||Almost all videos from streaming library without ads|
|With Ads + Live TV, Disney+ (No Ads), ESPN+ (With Ads)||$81.99||No longer available for new subscribers|
|Live TV Only||$75.99||Access to live content only|
Hulu Live TV now has two plans for new subscribers: With Ads and No Ads. Both plans offer an alternative to cable TV or satellite TV service. There are no contracts or hidden fees.
A subscription includes more than 90 live TV channels and unlimited hours of Cloud DVR storage for recordings.
There is only one channel bundle with Hulu. It includes ESPN, local NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and regional sports networks. (The interactive map below shows what local channels and regional sports networks are available in a number of cities and towns.)
The Basic plan has a live TV package and an ad-supported version of Hulu on-demand, Disney+ and ESPN+.
Hulu Live’s Premium plan is an ad-free version of the same bundle. But you will still see ads on live TV and ESPN+. Hulu still offers its on-demand service without live TV.
Hulu is a good fit for sports fans who need coverage for NBA, MLB and NFL games. Local channels are available across most of the U.S. (See map below.) And you get major cable channels such CNN and TNT.
Hulu Live TV: Competitors
The four leading live TV streaming services have various channel packages and prices. Below, Hulu Live TV is being compared to entry-level channel bundles of its four major competitors with a similar mix of cable networks such as ESPN and CNN, and local broadcast channels.
- YouTube TV
- Price: $72.99 per month
- Number of Channels: 128
- Locals: Yes
- Price: $74.99 per month
- Number of Channels: 170
- Locals: Yes
- DIRECTV STREAM
- Price: $79.99 per month
- Number of Channels: 75+
- Locals: Yes
- Sling TV
- Price: $40 per month
- Number of Channels: 32 – 40
- Locals: Limited markets
Prices for Hulu and Hulu + Live TV changed on October 12, 2023, and are reflected the chart above. Even with recent price hikes, using Hulu+ Live TV is cheaper than a cable TV or satellite service. That said, if someone just wanted ESPN or an entertainment channel, then Sling TV would be a more economical choice.
There is a robust lineup of news and entertainment channels that are carried by pricier cable TV and satellite services.
And unlike its competitors, Hulu’s Live TV package rolls together three streaming services into one.
Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu’s on-demand library is included with a live TV subscription. It’s the same on-demand content that people can subscribe to separately. If you subscribe to Hulu Live TV, you will still need to use the Disney+ app and ESPN app to access those parts of a subscription.
For sports fans, you’ll find all ESPN channels within Hulu’s live TV channel lineup, including the Golf Channel. Regional NBC Sports channels are included. You can watch live TV on two screens at once.
You can upgrade to unlimited screens within your home Wi-Fi network for $9.99 per month.
Picking Hulu Live TV over another streaming service generally boils down to channel lineup and price. So if AMC and all three Hallmark Networks are a must, then you will probably be better off with competitors such as Philo or Sling TV.
Hulu gives customers the option to add premium channels such as HBO Max. Here is the complete list of channels for Hulu with Live TV.
Hulu + Live TV Channel List
- ABC News Live
- ACC Network
- Animal Planet
- Big Ten Network
- Bloomberg Television
- Cartoon Network/Adult Swim
- CBS Sports Network
- Cheddar News
- Comedy TV
- CNN International
- Comedy Central
- Cozi TV
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Channel
- Disney Junior
- Disney XD
- ESPN 2
- ESPN College Extra
- Food Network
- Fox Business
- Fox News
- Golf Channel
- Hallmark Movies & Mysteries
- Investigation Discovery
- Lifetime Movies
- Military History
- NASA TV
- National Geographic
- Nat Geo Wild
- NBC LX
- NBC News Now
- NEWS NATION
- Nick Jr.
- NFL Network
- Paramount Network
- NBC regional sports networks
- SEC Network
- Smithsonian Channel
- start TV
- The CW
- Travel Channel
- TV Land
- Universal Kids
- USA Network
- The Weather Channel
Note: The Olympic Channel was taken off the air by its parent company on Sept. 30, 2021.
Sports add-on: $9.99 per month
- NFL RedZone
- FanDuel TV
- FanDuel Racing
- Outdoor Channel
- Sportsman Channel
Entertainment add-on: $7.99 per month
- American Heroes Channel
- CNBC World
- Cooking Channel
- Destination America
- Discovery Family
- Discovery Life
- Great American Country
- Lifetime Movies
- MTV Classic
Español Add-on: $4.99 per month
- CNN en Español
- Discovery en Español
- Discovery Familia
- ESPN Deportes
- FOX Deportes
- History Channel en Español
- NBC Universo
Does Hulu have local channels?
Hulu has coverage for a large number of local broadcast channels from across the U.S. But their availability will depend on where you live. The interactive map (above) shows what local ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX stations are carried by Hulu throughout the U.S.
ABOUT THE MAP: Hulu keeps no official roster of local ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX channels. This map will be updated by crowd sourced info that will be double checked. So feel free to report local channels and regional sports networks along with your zip code in the comments below. This map is a sequel of sorts to a similar map I made on the site in 2016 for the now-defunct PlayStation Vue. Fox Sports networks are no longer carried by Hulu + Live TV.
Hulu does not carry any PBS stations. YouTube TV is the only live TV streaming service that carries PBS.
The map, by no means, has every last city and town represented. So it’s a good idea to double check with Hulu. Just go to the view channels section of the Hulu site and type in your zip code.
The value of this is pretty huge for people who cannot get free local channels with a TV antenna or are not close to broadcast towers.
Hulu’s Sports Channels: ESPN, FOX and NBCSN RSNs
You’ll find ESPN’s full suite of networks on Hulu with Live TV.
ACC Network, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNews, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra, and SEC Network are included at no extra cost. You can use your Hulu credentials to activate the ESPN app and watch ESPN3.
Big 10 Network, FS1, FS2, and Golf Channel add some diversity to the ESPN-heavy lineup.
Regional NBC Sports channels are also included to in-market customers.
- NBC Sports Bay Area
- NBC Sports Boston
- NBC Sports California
- NBC Sports Chicago
- NBC Sports Northwest
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- NBC Sports Washington
Hulu was among the few live TV streaming services that carried FOX Sports regional sports networks and Yes Network. But that came to an end in October 2020 over a contract dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. FOX Sports channels have since been renamed to Bally Sports.
Hulu and ESPN are owned by Disney. So it’s pretty unlikely that you run the risk of losing ESPN channels in your lineup if you’re a Hulu Live TV subscriber.
News channels on Hulu with Live TV
With local channels, the nightly news for ABC, CBS and NBC will always be available to you.
Hulu also has a cross section of online and cable TV news networks. They include: ABC News Live, CBSN, Cheddar Business, CNBC, CNN, CNN International, FOX Business, FOX News, HLN and MSNBC.
What kids channels are on Hulu Live?
Subscribers get Disney XD, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon and Universal Kids as part of a live TV subscription.
Aside from Hulu’s standard channel lineup, there are some smaller channels bundles that you can add onto a subscription.
Can I get Max on Hulu?
Currently, Hulu live subscribers have the option of getting Max for $15.99 per month. Max is the latest generation of HBO with added shows from Max Originals, DC, Turner Classic Movies, Adult Swim, Studio Ghibli, Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, Looney Tuns and Crunchyroll.
- HBO Max costs $15.99/mo.
- Cinemax costs $9.99/mo.
- Showtime costs $10.99/mo.
- STARZ costs $8.99/mo.
Subscribing to a premium network through Hulu gives you all the live channels and on-demand library. So you can easily catch up on an older season of a show like Succession, and see new movies and originals.
Can I watch AMC on Hulu with Live TV?
Hulu with Live TV does not carry AMC in its channel lineup. There is now a standalone streaming service called AMC+.
The service combines AMC, BBC America, IFC, Sundance TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited for $8.99 per month.
There is a live stream of AMC channels as well. The service is only available on Sling TV, Amazon Prime Channels, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel.
There are a number of AMC shows that are available Hulu’s on-demand service. But that won’t help you for watching “The Walking Dead” or other popular shows on AMC.
Hulu’s TV Everywhere apps
Hulu with Live TV subscribers can activate a number of apps on streaming devices and websites. So for example, you can activate the Paramount Network app to watch a recent episode of “Yellowstone” or another favorite show that’s available on the app.
Hulu maintains a list of 56 TV Everywhere channel apps that you sign into by using your subscription.
Compatible devices for Hulu + Live TV
Hulu with Live TV is compatible with Smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, smart phones and PCs. Here is the full list.
- Apple TV (4th generation or later)
- Echo Show
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- iPhones and iPads
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers/apps
- PlayStation 4
- Roku and Roku Stick (select models)
- Android TV (smart TVs and NVIDIA Shield)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box
- Xfinity X1 TV Boxes
- Android phones and tablets
Is Hulu with Live TV worth it?
Hulu with Live TV has sought-after cable TV channels, local broadcast channels rolled together with Disney+ and ESPN+.
In the competitive landscape of live TV streaming, Hulu Live TV, now priced at $76.99 per month, positions itself as a strong contender.
For consumers prioritizing a balance between cost and channel variety, the decision between Hulu Live TV and its competitors like YouTube TV and Fubo can hinge on specific TV channels, viewing preferences and the perceived value of each service’s unique offerings.
YouTube TV, at $72.99 per month, offers 128 channels, including local stations, making it a slightly more affordable option than Hulu Live TV. Its strength lies in a well-rounded channel lineup that caters to a broad audience, from sports enthusiasts to news watchers and families seeking entertainment.
The inclusion of local channels adds to its appeal for viewers interested in local news and events without the need for a separate antenna.
Fubo, with a monthly starting price of $74.99, boasts the largest number of channels among the three, offering 170 live TV channels along with local channels. This service is particularly attractive to sports fans, given its regional sports networks. But Fubo also adds a regional sports fee between $10.99 to $13.99 for the RSNs.
The slightly lower price point of Sling TV coupled with a robust channel lineup may sway users who are looking for cable channels while paying under $50 per month.
Hulu Live TV’s current pricing places it at the higher end of the spectrum. However, it’s not just about the number of channels. Hulu’s on-demand library along with subscriptions to Disney+ and ESPN+ carry a unique value proposition.
Subscribers to Hulu Live TV have access to Hulu’s extensive streaming library, which includes original series and a vast selection of shows and movies. ESPN+ has live sports, and exclusive coverage of major sports such as college football. And Disney+ rounds out the content library with family-oriented fare.
This dual nature of live plus on-demand content could justify the extra cost for users who value a comprehensive entertainment experience.
Ultimately, the choice among these services may come down to individual needs.
Budget-conscious consumers might lean towards YouTube TV for its slightly lower cost and adequate channel selection. Sports aficionados might find Fubo’s extensive sports lineup irresistible despite its mid-tier pricing.
In the quest for value in live TV streaming, the best service is one that aligns closely with the viewer’s lifestyle, preferences, and budget.
Hulu Live TV could appeal to those who appreciate a rich on-demand library alongside their live TV, even if it means paying a bit more.