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Hulu could take fight to rivals with sub-$40 monthly charge for live TV streaming

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If you’re looking to cut cable in favor of internet streaming, 2017 is looking like the best year to do so yet. While more established services like Sling TV and PlayStation Vue look to iron out the kinks in their respective offerings, DirecTV Now has also launched, and even more offerings are coming from the likes of YouTube and Hulu. Hulu, in fact, has snagged a deal with CBS for programming, and it seems like it could manage to be one of the most affordable services yet.

Just in time for CES, Hulu managed to license content from both CBS broadcast and cable channels for its upcoming live TV streaming service, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal includes channels like CBS Sports and Pop, which CBS co-owns with Lionsgate Entertainment, as well as an option for the Smithsonian Channel and the CW Network. Hulu also has secured the rights to sell subscribers access to Showtime as an add-on.

That’s only half of the news here, as the company also revealed part of its pricing structure during an announcement at CES. CEO Mike Hopkins said that its live TV streaming service will cost “under $40.” While exactly what channels customers will get for this price remains largely a mystery, Hopkins revealed that this monthly subscription fee will include Hulu’s current on-demand offerings, which cost $9 to $12 per month, depending on your tolerance for commercials.

While CBS is far from the first company to sign with Hulu — the company has already established deals with Disney, Fox, and Time Warner — it is a significant grab. Competing service DirecTV Now launched without a deal with CBS, though the company has said it is still working toward securing one.

Unlike Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and even DirecTV Now, Hulu has a built-in subscriber base that is already familiar with internet streaming, and likely expects a less cable-like experience. If the company is able to get the price right, this could give it a significant advantage over its competitors.

Hulu could be banking on this idea, as right now, it’s still losing money. Hopkins seems to have a sunny outlook, however, telling the CES crowd that he doesn’t see the company “perpetually being in a loss mode.”

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