Hulu launches its live TV service with more than 50 channels for $39.99 a month

Key Points
  • Hulu is launching its streaming TV service for $39.99 a month.
  • It will have more than 50 live TV channels at launch, as well as its library of content and the ability to record live TV.
  • Hulu will also add a second season of "The Handmaid's Tale" and new series based on Marvel's "Runaways."
Hulu with live TV is here

Hulu's much-awaited streaming TV service is here.

The company announced the launch of Hulu with Live TV on Wednesday at its Upfront presentation in New York, an annual gathering where advertisers see a preview of upcoming programming.

The service will have more than 50 channels, including sports, entertainment, news and children's programming in addition to Hulu's existing library for $39.99 a month.

Channels include content from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox, as well as local affiliate coverage in many areas. It will also have sports programming from CBS Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, NBC Sports and TNT, in addition to news from CNN, CNBC, Fox News, Fox Business and MSNBC. Lifestyle and entertainment shows from Bravo, E!, Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, A&E, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Disney Channel, Freeform, FX, HISTORY, Lifetime, National Geographic, TBS, USA Network, Viceland will also be included at launch.

It will have 50 hours of recording storage, up to six profiles and two simultaneous streams. Options to add more recording space and unlimited streaming capabilities will be available for additional cost.

The service competes against a myriad of streaming services getting into the TV service game. Google recently launched YouTube TV, its skinny TV bundle, for $35 a month. Other competitors like AT&T's DirecTV and Dish's Sling TV also offer stand-alone TV services.

Hulu also announced it was adding a second season of its critically acclaimed series "The Handmaid's Tale." CEO Mike Hopkins said it was the biggest premiere for the platform, but didn't specify metrics.

It has also greenlighted "The First," a drama about the first human mission to Mars by "House of Cards" creator Beau Willimon, as well as a half-hour Sarah Silverman political comedy series called "I Love You America." In addition, Marvel's "Runaways," an adaption of the popular comic book series about the children of villains, will debut later this year. Other originals include "Future Man" from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, an apocalyptic comedy starring Josh Hutcherson.

Hulu with Live TV comes at a time when consumers are more willing to forgo their cable and satellite subscriptions. The company said the median age of its viewers is 33, and they have an average household income of $84,000.

About 8 percent of the U.S. are cord cutters, while 9 percent are cord nevers, a term for a person who never subscribed to these services, according to a recent GfK study. In addition, Accenture found only 23 percent of people globally preferred watching TV on a TV set, with the majority preferring other portable options like laptops, mobile phones or tablets.

Disclosure: CNBC parent company NBCUniversal is an investor in Hulu.