Would Adding CBS To HuluPlus Make It Worth The Price?

Right now, CBS is the only major U.S. broadcaster without any of its shows appearing on popular streaming video site Hulu.com. But that may all change, as the network’s CEO says the two companies are currently having chats about providing CBS content to the site’s HuluPlus subscribers.

Said Les “Mr. Julie Chen” Moonves:

Are we having discussions with the Hulu subscription service? Yes we are… Our goal is to get paid for our content in as many different ways as we can without hurting the mother ship. The key here is flexibility.

But the question is: Is this something that makes the $9.99/month price tag for HuluPlus worth it? Will enough people want to pay to watch previous seasons of Survivor, CSI: Miami or Murder, She Wrote?

CBS in talks to bring TV shows to Hulu: CEO [Reuters]


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  1. backinpgh says:

    The only thing that excites me about Hulu Plus is the instant streaming through Xbox that will soon be available. But I’m still not willing to pay for it until they get rid of the ads. If Netflix can do it, I don’t see why Hulu can’t.

    • c!tizen says:

      completely agree, there should be no ads in a paid service. They need to make a choice, either I pay them for the service or the advertisers pay them, not both. This is one, of many, things that still pisses me off about cable. I have to pay for stations and shows that I don’t ever watch, and I have to endure ads for crap that I’ll never buy.

      The whole Hulu thing doesn’t bother me one way or the other, Netflix works fine for me.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        What makes me mad is paying to watch ads for the service itself, like DTV or cable. Um, HELLO, I’m already watching you!

      • FrugalFreak says:

        Wish someone would tell cable companies this. Broadcast channels I can see, but anything beyond basic package should be ad free.

    • AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

      For me as well, the only thing about Hulu Plus that is appealing is the Xbox 360 streaming (since my 360 is hooked up to a home theater projector). BUT, it’s not worth another monthly fee. I’d be willing (perhaps) to pay a once-per-year charge like Xbox LIve, but MUCH less than $120 for a year. Maybe $30-$40.

    • johnperkins21 says:

      You can already get that through PlayOn. I use it on both my 360 and PS3.

      • aloria says:

        PlayOn isn’t an option if you have a Mac or use Linux.

      • jurupa says:

        Unless I am mistaken PlayOn allows one to view streaming content on video game consoles. They don’t offer their own streaming service like Hulu or Netflix does.

    • jurupa says:

      Maybe if you look at Netflix business model you will see how they can do this while Hulu can not. Netflix makes most of their money from their movie rentals. That is their core business. They make enough money to be able to show commercial free tv shows. Only a few are new releases.

      Where is Hulu suppose to get the sort of money Netflix makes, so that they can have commercial free shows?

  2. Alvis says:

    If they offer old shows, maybe, but I can’t understand why people would pay for access to current programs that are broadcast free over-the-air.

    • backinpgh says:

      Especially when those shows are also broadcast for free on the networks’ websites as well. it’s not as if there’s nowhere to watch many of these shows online already.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I think you’re paying for the convenience of accessing all the different networks from one location with a standardized interface.

      • Doncosmic says:

        The streaming on most networks websites is awful, Hulu just works mush much better than most of the players that other sites use.

        • Rectilinear Propagation says:


          WB just pulled the first three seasons of Babylon 5 from Hulu because they put up all of the episodes on their own web site. I was happy until I realized that their player is complete crap and entire episodes are just straight up broken.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      I live in a valley or bowl and you can’t pick up over-the-air broadcasts here. Even radio signals have issues near my apartment (all but three have heavy static). If I want any TV at all I would need cable and I dropped cable years ago.

      I still wouldn’t pay just to get current episodes but I could see someone else in my situation doing it.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      1. I hate having to go to a bunch of different network sites with sometimes poor players.

      2. I don’t have cable and don’t live in an area with good antenna reception for OTA viewing.

      3. I like using my computer as a HTPC, and Hulu makes that much simpler.

    • Marshmelly says:

      Well because a large number of the people who watch Hulu on a regular basis do so because we don’t have cable. Sorry but I’m not paying Comcast some ridiculous amount of money per month when I can watch most of my favorite shows online anyway. Theres always the network websites, but a lot of times their video players are just awful so I would love if all the shows were available on Hulu. If CBS shows (and I’m guessing The CW too) were offered, I might strongly consider upgrading to Hulu Plus. Personally, I couldn’t really care less about old shows…the only way Hulu Plus would look good to me is if a greater number of current shows were offered.

      • Alvis says:

        I don’t have cable. CBS, like all the other major networks, broadcasts FREE HD in every major city. Maybe it’s just a generation thing that doesn’t remember this is the basis of how TV works – I have friends in their 30s who don’t get how I watch TV without cable or satellite.

        All you need is a [big] antenna and an OTA DVR. It’s a shame Dish stopped selling their DTVpal – was an awesome box.

        • pot_roast says:

          “broadcasts FREE HD in every major city”

          Guess what? Not everyone lives in a major city. I live northwest of Fort Worth and have FIOS but can’t pick up squat other than religious or spanish stations with an HD antenna. We’re too far from the city center to get reliable HD OTA.

          Hulu on the iPhone & iPad is great because while I’m doing work, I can set my iPad on my desk and watch TV shows.

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    I might, MIGHT do it for Big Bang Theory but in general I hate services like Huluplus

  4. Beeker26 says:

    Um, nope.

  5. Mknzybsofh says:

    Nope still wont pay. Ofcorse Hulu’s started have up to two commercials instead of one sometimes. I’ll bet it wont be long until they have as four or five commercials.

  6. NarcolepticGirl says:

    I have no idea what’s on CBS. So I don’t know.

    But I would pay if they had entire seasons of Roseanne & The Cosby Show, Law & Order, all of Adult Swim, all of Family Guy, newest episodes of Top Chef & Hell’s Kitchen. And American Idol (although I doubt I’ll care too much about that show after the last couple of seasons).

    And wayyyyyyyyyyyy better movie selections.

  7. pantheonoutcast says:

    That’s the carrot? CBS? 15 seasons worth of Angela Lansbury is going to entice people to pony up $10 a month?

    Way to know your target audience, Hulu.

  8. BurtReynolds says:

    I know I can get back episodes of CSI on Netflix without commercials. I wouldn’t be surprised if the other CBS shows are on there too either through streaming or DVDs. So no.

    • Brainswarm says:

      Netflix doesn’t do streaming for CSI. You have to get the DVDs.

      • BurtReynolds says:

        I thought I had seen it on my streaming queue at some point. Well I just looked and they offer Season 1 in blu-ray, even better.

        My point is. CBS broadcasting won’t make up for the fact that my $10 is better spent at Netflix.

  9. Preyfar says:


    It would be worth the price if /all/ the episodes of every season/show were available. Hulu still has a habit of having missing seasons, shows and a spotty back catalog of anything interesting to me. It’s got some good series, no doubt, but if I want to watch 30 Rock I can watch it on Netflix. Will I get last week’s episode? No, but I can wait a few months… ’cause Netflix gives me more crap to watch than I’ll ever be able to fill up on.

    Add up some of the gems from the past 20-30 years of catalogs? Sure. I want a big variety, and Hulu just doesn’t really have variety. It feels like they fluff up most of their content on their site with 10,001 “clips”. And I’m one of the many few who *hates* clips and clip shows.

    Besides, I like watching entire series at a time. Not an episode every week or two. I don’t mind waiting, but I do dig watching older stuff I missed or just reliving memories.

    • evilrobot says:

      I tend to agree with your ‘clip hating’.

      I can understand watching a preview, or very rarely, a clip of a particularly funny episode. But is there a mass that enjoys browsing and viewing the excessive number of clips on Hulu? I’d like to hear from people that watch clips and why.

      • Preyfar says:

        Clips should be like a sub-section on Hulu’s site. So when you go to open up 30 Rock, it lists episodes, and then “clips”. Instead, when I go to Hulu, the entire site seems to be dominated by clips. That’s not what I want, and if I’m paying for Hulu access, I want to be able to say “CLIPS BE GONE!”

        It’s rare that I want to see a clip (I still do from time to time – nothing makes me laugh harder than the “leadfarmer” clip from Tropic Thunder, but I digress) but I don’t want content dominated by it. Or even a majority of it to be clips.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          Best (worst) part is when you see a section like “Futurama,” click on it, and find out the ENTIRE SECTION IS 30 SECOND CLIPS. :I

      • edicius is an acquired taste says:

        The only show that I’ll watch clips from? The Soup. And that’s only because they can’t put the whole show on there.

      • Aathos says:

        The only show that I enjoy watching clips from is SNL, but those are complete sketches.

  10. W10002 says:

    CBS’ website already has a good back catalog of entire series of shows like MacGuyver and Star Trek. And it’s free! I don’t see how adding it to Hulu for a cost would make me want to pay for Hulu….

  11. edicius is an acquired taste says:

    I don’t watch a single show on CBS, so nope. In fact, I think the only show I’ve watched on CBS in the past 6 or 7 years was Jericho and we all know how that ended.

    I’m really tempted with Hulu Plus after seeing some videos of it in action on PS3, but honestly, if it works just as well as PlayOn, I have no reason to shell out $10/mo.

    • loreshdw says:

      Too bad the streaming shows on CBS.com are really glitchy. They barely buffer! It takes me almost 2 hours to watch a 45 minute show. It isn’t just my internet connection either, I have no problem watching Hulu or Netflix streams.

  12. raybury says:

    If it includes the CW, yes.

    • edicius is an acquired taste says:

      Gotta admit, it would be really nice to add CW, not to mention ABC Family (mainly for the wife, though we’re both hooked on ‘Huge’ now).

      • Marshmelly says:

        I watch “Pretty Little Liars” on Hulu, which is an ABC Family show…maybe they only have certain ABCFam shows on there or something.

  13. Straspey says:

    Maybe it’s just me – but I find that crack about Les “Mr. Julie Chen” Moonves in very poor taste, and completely uncalled for.

    Yes – I know – we all have something to say about Julie. But she’s not the head of programming for CBS and really has nothing to do with this story.

  14. chiieddy says:

    If that’s the only way I can legally get The Big Bang THeory and How I Met Your Mother other than watching live (which I tend to forget to do) or purchasing a DVR setup, then I’ll pay for it. I’m not sure $10/mo is worth it for those 2 shows though.

  15. leftturnonred says:

    I’ve got to admit that I’m always a little annoyed that there is no way to watch old Mentalist episodes online, but I’m not paying 10 bucks/month to be able to watch that train wreck of a show.

  16. JMH says:

    Would adding something I can watch for free entice me to pay $10/month for something I’m not currently planning to pay $10/month for?

    I think the way I phrased the question pretty much gives away the answer.

  17. backinpgh says:

    Plus if you have Comcast many of CBS’s shows are already available on their Fancast thingie.

    • Marshmelly says:

      If you have Comcast then doesn’t it just defeat the purpose of Hulu anyway since you can just watch it or dvr it? (or like Fancast like you mentioned)

  18. Cameraman says:

    $10 bucks a month is cheaper than the cheapest cable plan, and I can’t get an over the air signal where I live. As soon as Hulu Plus works on my Roku box, I will happily order it, no matter what’s missing or what kind of back catalog they have. Sure, we can watch old series on the Roku, but it would be nice to watch current stuff too.

    I split FIOS with my neighbor, so I pay $30 a month for internet. Any additional entertainment value I can squeeze out of my internet is a good thing. $40 a month wouldn’t bankrupt me.

  19. ARP says:

    If they can get all current and past seasons from the cable networks (e.g. AMC, FX, Comedy Central, Bravo, etc.) and the major networks, I would gladly pay $25+ per month, because I could actually drop cable then. Got to have my Breaking Bad and Philly.

  20. RxDude says:

    With DVR, Netflix, and Amazon, I have no need for Hulu. No way I’d pay $10/mo for streaming video of any content. When streaming can match DVD audio and video quality with no stutters, commercials, or interruptions, it MIGHT be worth money.

  21. Mecharine says:

    I don’t think CBS would make any one more likely to subscribe. I think that the major audience for Hulu are people who don’t have cable TV, and CBS is a OTA broadcaster.

  22. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I watch all the Murder, She Wrote I want already with my Netflix.

    The only thing that would get me even remotely interested in HuluPlus is for current shows without ads to stream on my Roku.

    • AshleyKeen says:


      I think that hulu doesn’t realize that they’re not just competing with Cable Networks, they’re competing with Netflix. Is it nice to have entire seasons of old shows consolidated? Sure! But am I going to pay them the same price I pay for unlimited streaming content AND blu-ray discs?

      Heck no!

  23. B says:

    CBS? Eh, not really. CBS plus AMC might, though. I can’t go without Mad Men.

  24. tape says:

    I’m not paying $10 for Hulu anything, so: no.

  25. loreshdw says:

    Yes, I would consider it. I clicked through the first time I saw the ad to check if CBS was included, and if they had older seasons available. I ended up getting a Netflix subscription instead. It’s frustrating that shows like CSI are only available as DVDs instead of streaming, but that availability plus lots of other streaming shows and movies beats out Hulu Plus. I will keep following news about Hulu & Netflix to see who carries the best selection for a reasonable price.

  26. Nogard13 says:


  27. vastrightwing says:


  28. gnubian says:


  29. chimpski says:


  30. Hedgy2136 says:

    No. Not under any circumstances. Ever.

  31. aloria says:

    I don’t care which channels are added; HuluPlus will only be worth the price if the actual SHOWS I want to watch are available. Last time I checked, ANTM wasn’t available, and is one of the few shows I actually religiously watch. Everything else I can either do without, or find similar content elsewhere (documentaries, for example, can be replaced by books or other documentaries on the same topic.)

  32. wenhaver says:

    CBS, TNT, and USA – full backlogs, none of this “last 5”, or 2 week delay dates (looking at you, USA). Give me a viable alternative to cable, without me having to torrent stuff or go through a bunch of different content providers, and hell, I’ll pay more than $10. Make me work at it, and I’ll do all the work and save the $10/mo.

  33. legolex says:


  34. Sian says:

    Trying to think of what I watch that’s on CBS.


    I don’t watch CBS at ALL.

  35. dolemite says:

    I honestly have no idea what is on CBS. Well that goes for pretty much any network these days. So no.

  36. VashTS says:

    Big corporations are at it again. Guys there are cheaper/free, less legal ways to get past shows, great quality NO COMMERCIALS and it’s FREE!!!

    Just get past the corporate tree huggers and do not even bother with this HULU pay crap. GET REAL!

    Why would anyone pay for HULU is beyond me.

  37. framitz says:

    Been using Hulu on and off since beta.
    No way I would pay anything for their content especially with commercials.
    Adding CBS does nothing for me at all.

    Boxee and Netflix is about all I use any more.

  38. FrugalFreak says:

    Nope, nothing makes it worth one single cent. I said I wouldn’t pay, weren’t you listening?

  39. pot_roast says:

    Yeah, I’d be happy with this – IF they would fill the gaps in the back libraries. Sheesh.