With the shift from cable television to streaming services, we’ve seen many providers including Disney, offer a cable lite version, where people can stream live television channels, but without the need for traditional cable.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen more people abandon traditional cable, and often, one of the first major steps is moving to a Live TV streaming package, like Hulu + Live TV, Fubo, or YouTube TV.

But often, after a while, those live TV subscribers, who have broken the habit of using cable television, often then eventually drop the more expensive live offerings, since most of the content is available directly through streaming services at a lower cost.

Disney’s Hulu + Live TV offers a wide selection of television channels, in addition, to access to Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for one price, but it is $76.99 a month with ads or $89.99 a month without ads, highlighting the sheer cost of having a live TV bundle.

Much like with traditional cable providers, Hulu + Live TV isn’t a growing business; it continues to lag behind its competitors like YouTube TV, which now has over 8 million subscribers in the United States.

Disney has released its latest quarterly financial results and it has revealed that Hulu + Live TV has lost over 100,000 subscribers in the last three months. As of March 30th 2024, Hulu + Live TV has 4.5 million US subscribers, which is the same number as it had back in late 2022.

The good news is that both Disney+ and Hulu were able to raise their subscriber numbers. Hulu alone now has 45.8 million subscribers, up over 700,000 from the previous quarter.

One of the issues for platforms like Hulu + Live TV is that it’s very US-focused, and an international expansion would be unlikely; plus, Disney is also launching another live TV sports streaming service with FOX and Warner Brothers Discovery later this year. Though Fubo TV has filed a lawsuit to try to halt the launch of this new sports streaming service, the existence of this new platform does make the future of Hulu + Live TV even more in doubt since one of the main reasons people have live TV is for the sports coverage.

It’s likely that some people may have unsubscribed to Hulu + Live TV now that some of the major sports seasons are completed, but the drop in subscribers is similar across the board. In the latest quarter, Fubo TV lost 100,000 subscribers, and Sling TV also lost 135,000 subscribers, while YouTube TV continues to grow, adding more subscribers per quarter than Hulu + Live TV, Sling and Fubo combined.

Earlier this year, Hulu On Disney+ launched in the United States, and there hasn’t been any mention of plans to incorporate Hulu + Live TV into Disney+, though there have been reports of Disney+ adding in genre channels, which act like a more traditional television channel with rolling content.

Roger’s POV: Personally, I don’t see Hulu + Live TV being a long term solution for Disney. The market of users willing to pay for Live TV is shrinking and with many other alternatives, like FAST channels, genre channels, YouTube and over the air ariel linear channels, it’s hard to not think of Hulu + Live TV as a stopgap between generations. YouTube TV is also becoming the default option, since so many people are used to YouTube in daily life. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Disney eventually shuts down Hulu + Live TV or sells it, if it decides to fully merge Hulu into Disney+ in the years to come.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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