You were always going to pay for it. The question was how much. And today Disney CEO Bob Iger told you exactly how much you're going to drop on that epic Disney/Hulu/ESPN bundle.
The price? $12.99 a month. That gets you the upcoming Disney+ service. That gets you ESPN+, which still is one of the best $5 you can spend a month if you're a sports fan. And it gets you the basic Hulu service (ie with ads).
Disney+ is practically free with this deal, and it'll get you a couple other great services, too.
Hulu and ESPN+ on their own come in at $5.99 a month and $4.99 a month, respectively. (That's $11 a month, for those of you who are math-inclined.) For just $2 more, you're getting Disney+ and everything that comes with it.
That's a ridiculously good deal. It's also not at all unexpected, because it's going to create a guaranteed market not just for Disney+ — which sure as hell isn't going to have a hard time finding subscribers — but also for the other two services. You're going to see Hulu and ESPN+ significantly buoyed by this deal — by Disney, really. You're going to see the number of Hulu subscribers increase in a way that's going to make you ask what dumb thing some some other service did to lose so many folks.
That also should trickle down to the live side of the shop for Hulu. Hulu With Live TV, as it stands today, is still $45 a month. We don't yet know what kind of deal we might see with Disney+ and ESPN+ that would include live TV from Hulu. But even if you paid another $10 a month and ended up at $55 a month total, that would still put you in a much different world than YouTube TV ($50 a month), or Sling TV ($40 a month for its basic Orange and Blue packages) or PlayStation Vue or the recently renamed AT&T TV Now ($50 a month for their basic packages).
If you'll excuse the line, this bundle puts Hulu and ESPN+ and Disney+ in a galaxy unto themselves.
That's not to say that there isn't still work to be done. The Hulu live channels lineup has grown, but still suffers from what every other service suffers — it's got some channels, and it's missing others. And it's like YouTube TV in that it only has one package of channels. You can't pay more to get more.
That's what's kept me from going for Hulu with Live TV. (That and YouTube TV doesn't nickel-and-dime you on the DVR, and the on-screen guide is blessedly simple.) That's one area in which Hulu needs to improve.
And there's still the matter of us having to wait three more months before we can take advantage of any of this. That lack of patience isn't Hulu's fault, though.
That one's on us.
The full Hulu experience is expansive
Hulu becomes even more appealing when it gets bundled with Disney+ and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month. Still to come is how much extra Live TV might cost under that plan.
The mega service
This is the streaming service you were looking for
Catch your favorite Disney classics along with great shows from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, available on pretty much any devicey you have at home.
Watch it all
If you just can't get enough NHL — and who can't, really — then you absolutely need ESPN+. For just a few bucks a month you'll get far more games than are on traditional TV.
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