Two of the biggest drawbacks to cord-cutting have always been the difficulty of accessing live sports content (especially from ESPN) and often having to settle for streaming services instead of recording your favorite TV shows on your DVR for offline viewing. In what appears to be the next battleground of the Great Streaming Wars, Hulu appears poised to fire the opening salvo to address at least one of the caveats of cord-cutting: according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall), they’re working on a live TV service with cloud-based DVR recording.
At first glance, Hulu would appear to be in a good position to offer such a service with NBC, ABC and Fox all having a stake in the company’s existing streaming service. With other popular channels such as The CW releasing new content through Hulu, it’s conceivable that they’ll have a compelling offer even at initial launch. Of course, the aforementioned networks also own several popular cable channels such as Disney and ESPN (owned by ABC), the USA Network and SyFy (NBC), but it seemed unlikely to me that Big Cable would ever let them stream through Hulu. Then I saw the rumored price: $40 per month (again, according to the Wall Street Journal). Such a high subscription price would allow them to give a cut to whichever Big Cable franchise resides in any given locale and possibly throw in a few movie channels to boot.
Only time will tell if anything comes of this report or what the final details will be, but by the time you pay for Netflix, Amazon, CBS All Access and/or Hulu you might start to wonder if it was really worth it to cut the cord to begin with.