The first thing to know before subscribing to Hulu is that live channels only come with the Hulu + Live TV plans, both with ads or ad-free. There are a total of four plans, though if we count the bundle plans, there are over a half-dozen different Hulu packages.
This page explains the key differences between these plans and we also dive into the list of channels offered on Hulu.
Read on to find out what channels and categories you get with the live TV plans and which networks you need to pay an additional monthly fee for.
Table Of Contents
What Hulu Packages Are There?
If we include Hulu’s bundle packages and student discount plan, there are eight plans to choose from. Here’s a brief rundown of how much each of these plans cost per month.
None of them require a contract and can be cancelled any time.
|Hulu On-Demand for Students||$1.99|
|Hulu On-Demand (No Ads)||$11.99|
|Hulu On-Demand with Disney+ and ESPN+||$13.99|
|Hulu On-Demand with Disney+ and ESPN+ (No Ads)||$19.99|
|Hulu + Live TV||$64.99|
|Hulu + Live TV (No Ads)||$70.99|
|Hulu + Live TV with Disney+ and ESPN+||$72.99|
Note that Hulu does offer 1-year subscriptions at a discounted rate, though you trade the discount for the freedom to cancel the service as you wish. If you do choose the 1-year commitment, you get 16% off on the live TV plan.
The add-on channel bundles with Disney+ and ESPN+ network exclusive content from both providers. If you were to buy a Disney+ monthly subscription separately, it would cost $7.99 per month, while the ESPN+ monthly membership is priced at $5.99 per month. With the Hulu bundles, they’re both significantly cheaper.
Hulu On-Demand With or Without Ads
Hulu’s on-demand packages come in two basic forms: with or without ads. Without ads, you pay $5.99 per month and you’re only able to stream content while you’re connected to the internet.
Students can also get the basic plan with ads for $1.99 per month.
With the Hulu (No Ads) plan, you’re given access to offline streaming where you can download content from the online streaming library and watch it later. With the exception of a few titles like Grey’s Anatomy, there are no commercials with this plan.
Even the shows exempt from the ad-free plan are played without interruption, and the ads are placed either before or after the stream.
Both on-demand plans come with access to over 2,500 movies, shows, and documentaries, including Hulu Originals, FX on Hulu, and a variety of categorized titles. You can also create six user profiles, with which you can use the account on two simultaneous screens at once.
The unlimited screens add-on and enhanced cloud DVR recording space add-on are not available with the on-demand plans.
As we mentioned earlier, the on-demand subscription can also be bundled with ESPN+ and Disney+, with ads for $13.99 or ad-free for $19.99. See the add-on review to find out what else you can buy with the on-demand plans.
Hulu Live TV With or Without Ads
As with the on-demand plans, Hulu + Live TV plans come with or without ads. It’s important to know that the ad-free live TV plan does NOT mean ad-free live channels — the no-commercial feature only applies to the on-demand streaming library.
Alongside the streaming library, live TV subscribers get 70+ channels that include several sports channels, movie networks, family-friendly networks (nature, travel, kids programs), as well as local channels and regional sports networks.
Hulu + Live TV with ads costs $64.99 per month and an extra $6 for ad-free on-demand content, setting you back $70.99 per month. If you’re an on-demand customer, you can upgrade with a few clicks in the “Account” menu.
The Hulu live TV plans come with 50 hours of cloud DVR space where you can record live TV programs and watch them later. If you want to expand this to a total space of 200 hours, there’s an add-on for $9.99 per month. Two people can watch the live TV account on separate devices, though you can increase that to limitless devices with another $9.99.
See the add-on list, since some of them are cheaper when they’re bundled together.
What Channels Are on Hulu?
The 70+ channels with Hulu + Live TV have a decent range of categories. There are over a dozen sports channels and several dozens of family-friendly networks available. The only category that’s scarce is the premium movie channel selection, but that’s compensated with a few add-ons like HBO Max.
All seven local channels are available on Hulu: ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, Telemundo, and The CW. Along with the regional sports networks, the availability of these channels depends on the location where you watch Hulu.
You can check what channels are available in your area on Hulu’s website.
Here’s the table of all 70+ channels listed in Hulu’s main live TV directory:
|A to D||D to L||M to Z|
|ABC News Live||Disney XD||MotorTrend|
|FOX||ESPN2||Nat Geo Wild|
|Adult Swim||ESPN College Extra||Olympic Channel|
|Animal Planet||FOX Business||Pop|
|Big Ten Network (BTN)||FOX News||QVC|
|Bloomberg Television||FS1||SEC Network|
|CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)||FXM||TBS|
|Cozi TV||History Channel||Travel Channel|
|Dabl||ID (Investigation Discovery)||Universal Kids|
|Disney Channel||Lifetime Movies||Vice|
Sports Channels on Hulu Live TV
The Hulu + Live TV plan gives you access to a fair selection of sports channels you’d pay good money for via cable TV. Here’s the list of sports networks as well as popular sports you can catch with Hulu online without cable.
|Sports Channel||Live Sports and Leagues|
|CBSSN||Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Lacrosse, Soccer, Ultimate, Volleyball, and Wrestling|
|CNBC Golf||Major golf tournaments live|
|ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN News, ESPNU, ESPN College Extra||College Basketball, College Football, Golf, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, Soccer, and Tennis|
|FS1, FS2||Boxing, College Basketball, College Football, MLB, NASCAR, Soccer, and USGA Golf|
|NBCSN||Golf (US Open), IndyCar, NFL (Sunday Night Football), NHL, NASCAR, Olympics on NBC, and Premier League Soccer|
|Olympic Channel||Olympic sporting events (region dependent)|
|SEC Network||Baseball, Basketball, Football, Golf, Olympic Sports, Soccer, and Tennis|
Regional Sports Networks
These sports channels are only available in particular US regions, so use the ZIP code checker to see if your area is covered.
- NBC Sports Bay Area
- NBC Sports Northwest
- NBC Sports Boston
- NBC Sports California
- NBC Sports Chicago
- NBC Sports Philadelphia (also: NBC Sports Philadelphia+)
- NBC Sports Washington (also: NBC Sports Washington+)
- SportsNet NY
- SportsTime Ohio
- YES Network.
Movie Networks On Hulu
With the exception of Lifetime, Lifetime Movies, and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), movie channels are pretty much non-existent in the Hulu channel list.
Still, you get access to plenty of titles in the on-demand library. You may catch the occasional film on some of the part-time movie networks, but if you seek all-day film, look elsewhere.
Family-Friendly Channels On Hulu
There is no shortage of family-friendly channels on Hulu + Live TV. By family-friendly we mean everything from cartoons to travel and nature.
Popular kids programmes include Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, Universal Kids, and Boomerang.
When you create a new profile under “Accounts” > “Profiles,” you can switch on the “kid-friendly” toggle and the profile will only have access to channels considered kid-friendly.
Nature channel lovers will find Animal Planet, National Geographic, and Nat Geo Wild on Hulu. Discovery Channel and Investigation Discovery (ID) are also partially nature-focused channels, though you may consider these as “Travel and Lifestyle.”
You also get access to the Food Network, History Channel, Vice, and Dabl for when the family feels like finding a common ground on the screen.
Fox Business and MotorTrend are likewise there for the economics and motor-inclined, though the former might not be so interesting for three-to-five year olds!
Add-On Networks and Channels
The premium movie network add-ons cover most of what movie fanatics might look for, but for an extra monthly price. These add-ons do not come with additional live TV channels, but a ton of on-demand content.
- HBO Max for $14.99 per month
- Cinemax for $9.99 per month
- Showtime for $10.99 per month
- Starz for $8.99 per month.
There’s more. With the Entertainment add-on for $7.99 per month, there are eight additional live channels. These are American Heroes Channel, BET Her, CNBC World, Cooking Channel, Crime + Investigation, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, DIY, Great American Country, Military History Channel, Nicktoons, MTV2, MTV Classic, Science, and TeenNick.
If you speak Spanish or want to learn Spanish from TV, you can get seven Spanish channels for an additional $4.99 per month. These are CNN en Español, Discovery en Español, Discovery Familia, ESPN Deportes, FOX Deportes, History Channel en Español, and Universo.
As with the movie networks, the ESPN+ and Disney+ add-ons also don’t come with extra live channels, but on-demand content. See the list of bundles and plans for their discounted prices.
Other Add-Ons With Hulu TV
If you are a Hulu + Live TV subscriber, you’re given permission to spend some cash on even more add-ons. If you want to watch live TV from more than two accounts and devices at once, there’s the unlimited screens add-on for $9.99 per month.
Pair it with the enhanced cloud DVR add-on (also $9.99 per month separately) and get both for $14.99 per month. These are useful options for bigger groups and families who want to share a Hulu account.
What Devices Can I Get Hulu On?
Hulu subscribers can stream live TV or on-demand content from Hulu’s library with over 20 types of devices. All Hulu plans allow simultaneous streams from two devices at-a-time. With the Live TV plan, you can upgrade to streams on unlimited devices for $9.99 with an add-on.
For the exact model numbers, refer to Hulu’s website and search for the applicable device from the list below:
- Android phones and tablets
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Echo Show
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV
- Fire TV Stick
- iPhones and iPads
- Samsung & LG TVs
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers/apps
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box
- Xfinity X1 TV Boxes.
You can add or remove devices from your list of approved devices by heading to “Account” > “Manage Your Devices.”
How Fast Does My Internet Need To Be?
When you stream live TV or recorded content with Hulu, your recommended internet connection depends on the type of content.
Also, the higher the resolution, the more internet bandwidth you need. Hulu’s official internet speed recommendations per content type are as follows:
- Hulu’s Streaming Library – 3.0 + Mbps
- Live streams – 8.0 + Mbps
- 4K streams – 16 + Mbps
Which Hulu Plan Is Worth It?
The question is, what do you need? If you’re in the market for live TV channels, then the Hulu + Live TV plan for $64.99 is worth considering. But that comes with ads for the on-demand content.
If you want to eliminate commercials, be prepared to pay an additional $6.
If live TV isn’t a huge concern, you can get a Hulu on-demand bundle for a fraction of the price with access to Disney+ and ESPN+ streaming libraries. With this plan you can also get HBO Max, Showtime, Starz, or Cinemax as on-demand add-ons.
Larger families or bigger groups who want to stream on more than two devices will probably stay away from the on-demand plans, since no more than two screens can stream at a time.
The 70+ channels with Hulu + Live TV have plenty of sports networks, kids programmes, and enough family-friendly programmes to make a decent casual cable-free TV plan. The premium movie network add-on options compensate for the lack of live movie channels, even if they’re pricey.
If live local TV is important to you, Hulu Live TV offers good support for this. There’s no need to keep your cable contract just for that.
Are Hulu channels in HD?
Not all Hulu channels are streamable in HD, because live channel quality also depends on the quality of the stream provided by the channel operator. That said, most live channels are available in high definition above 720p. Hulu’s on-demand content library is also available in 720p, 1080p, and 4k at 60 frames-per-second HD. See the internet speed recommendations, too.
What channels are on Hulu basic package?
The Hulu basic package has no live channels because it is an on-demand streaming service with a library of pre-uploaded content accessible online. To get live TV channels with Hulu, see this review of the Hulu + Live TV plan, or refer to the complete channel list further up the page.
How many channels does Hulu offer?
Hulu’s live TV plan offers access to over 70 channels without cable. The number of available live channels you see in your Hulu channel guide will also depend on your location. Local networks like ABC, PBS, and FOX are not available in some areas. Similar restrictions apply to regional sports networks. Check what channels are covered under your ZIP code.
How do I get Hulu with no ads?
There are two main Hulu plans, the on-demand plan and the live TV plan — both come as an ad-free version for on-demand content. This costs an additional $6. When you are ready to sign up to Hulu, be sure to select the plan with the “(No Ads)'”display on the website. If you are already a Hulu customer, look for the “Account” > “Manage Plan” menu and switch to a “No Ads” plan.
Is Hulu free for students?
Hulu is not free for students, but eligible students do get a discounted rate of $1.99 per month for Hulu on-demand with ads. The 65% discount is valid for college students and the plan can still be canceled at any time. Eligible students need to be enrolled at a US Title IV accredited college or university and are verified via SheerID.
Is HBO free with Hulu?
Hulu does not include any HBO channels with its live TV plan. However, access to the HBO Max on-demand content library is an available add-on with any Hulu plan for $14.99 per month. HBO Max, as well as other premium movie networks, are free for a one-week trial for existing Hulu subscribers.
How can I switch plans with Hulu?
If you’re already subscribed to Hulu and want to switch plans, go to “Account” > “Manage Plan.” When you enter this menu, you’ll see the option to switch to Hulu’s solo plans, bundle plans, and discounted 1-year plans. You can also purchase add-ons here. In this menu, you can switch plans with two clicks — or taps on responsive devices.