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Disney Raises Hulu + Live TV Price and Adds Disney+ And ESPN+ to Bundle

Hulu and  Disney+ and ESPN+

Yesterday, Hulu began to inform customers who have the Hulu + Live TV bundle that prices will be going up another $5 beginning December 21, 2021.

Disney is justifying this price hike by also including access to Disney+ and ESPN+, whether these customers want them or not.

For Hulu + Live TV customers who already have Disney+ and/or ESPN+, Hulu says those accounts will roll into their new plan (as long as the email addresses are the same for each account).

Those subscribers will then receive a credit for the retail value of their existing subscription(s), starting with their first billing cycle on or after Dec. 21.

The new price hike brings Hulu + Live TV with on-demand ads to $69.99/month, and Hulu + Live TV with no ads to $75.99/month. The change applies to both new and existing customers.

One has to wonder what Disney hopes to accomplish by this.

Even though Disney+ just celebrated two years, and announced a long list of Disney, Pixar, National Geographic, Marvel, and Lucasfilm titles coming to the streamer, the streamer has hit a bit of a plateau in new subscribers.

Now it makes more sense when in a recent investor’s earnings call, Disney CFO Christine McCarthy said the company expects Disney+ net adds in the second half of fiscal year 2022 to be meaningfully higher than first six months, with peak financial losses for the streamer coming overall in fiscal year 2022.

Could those new subscribers she was talking about be from this Hulu bundling and price increase, which must have been in the works prior to the investor call?

Hulu last raised the price of its live-TV packages in December 2020, when they went up $10 a month.

I will say, as a Hulu + Live TV subscriber, this is incredibly annoying. I like my Disney+ separate and I will never watch ESPN+. Plus, now if I ever decide to leave Hulu + Live TV, I also lose my Disney+ access and will need to resign up for a separate account.

If you’re a Hulu + Live TV, I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Let me know in the comments.