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Hulu teases cheaper live pricing in customer survey

(Image: Hulu/Walt Disney Company/Handout, Graphic: The Desk)

Hulu has started asking some subscribers if they would be willing to pay for access to live television if the company lowered the price point.

The question was one of several in a survey sent to a handful of Hulu subscribers this week asking for feedback about channels, packages and price points.

Hulu’s current live streaming service comes with local broadcast channels, basic cable networks, and national and regional sports networks. The service costs $55 a month, though that fee can increase if a customer tacks on added features or additional programming, such as cloud DVR service, the ability to watch Hulu on more than two devices, and access to HBO, Showtime and Starz.

The survey, first reported on Saturday by the industry blog Cord Cutters News, asks Hulu subscribers if they’d be willing to pay for a slimmer package of channels comprised of major broadcast affiliates and a handful of basic cable channels. One price point suggested in the survey is $15 a month.

The survey also asks if customers would be interested in having their PBS member station added to the service. Hulu has not announced plans to add PBS, and the program syndicate currently only has a deal with Google-owned YouTube TV to distribute member stations to customers.

There’s been no announcement from Hulu or its parent, the Walt Disney Company, of a slimmer package at a cheaper price point, though an executive hinted the company was exploring ways to offer cheaper programming to customers after Disney acquired majority control of the service from rival Comcast last year.

Late last year, Hulu raised the price of its live TV offering from $50 a month to $55 a month, making it one of the more-expensive plans at the time. Hulu executives told customers to consider starting a subscription to Hulu with Live TV during major sporting seasons and events, then downgrading when those seasons or events were over.

In addition to the live TV service, Hulu has an on-demand service that provides access to hundreds of TV shows and movies from major studios, cable and broadcast networks. That service costs $6 a month with ads or $12 a month without.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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