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Hulu with Live TV belatedly arrives on PlayStation 4

Sarah Perez

Hulu's Live TV service, which allows users to watch both live and on-demand programming, including Hulu Originals, has finally arrived on the PlayStation 4 -- close to three years after the service first debuted. The launch closes a significant hole in Hulu's offerings, as its Live TV service was already available across nearly all other major platforms, including Apple TV (4th gen.), Amazon Fire TV devices, Echo Show, Roku devices, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android, Windows 10, web, Chromecasts and select TVs from LG, Vizio and Samsung.

Hulu didn't offer an explanation for what took so long, but it's not the only live TV streaming service to not be available on PS4. Dish-owned Sling TV doesn't include support for PS4, nor does AT&T TV NOW. However, Hulu's top rival YouTube TV will stream on Sony's game console.

Consoles don't tend to be a top priority for streaming TV services, as there are many other platforms that are used more often for streaming. In the U.S., for example, Roku is ahead of rivals like Apple and Amazon, according to eMarketer, in terms of media player usage. And let's not forget that even Sony's own PlayStation Vue wasn't able to successfully tap into the sizable PlayStation user base in order to make its live TV service work. PlayStation Vue shut down for good in January.

Hulu says PS4 owners who already stream through the existing Hulu app for the standard service will now be able to switch to the Hulu + Live TV service through their account settings on Hulu.com in order to access it from their console. Customers who already subscribe to Hulu + Live TV will now be able to watch the live channels the next time they launch their Hulu app on the PlayStation 4.

The Live TV service offers a range of live TV channels, including ESPN, FOX, NBC and ABC, among others.

Hulu is now majority-owned by Disney, following Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox and its subsequent deal with NBCU that gave it operational control. Since Disney took over, it has made several major changes, including a reorg that saw the departure of Hulu CEO Randy Freer followed by the promotion of Hulu's chief marketing officer Kelly Campbell to president. Yesterday, Hulu rolled out a new FX hub on the service, featuring more than 40 shows and originals. FX was another property that came in through the acquisition, in addition to Fox's stake in Hulu.

Disney announced in December that Hulu with Live TV had grown to 3.2 million subscribers, while its total Hulu subscriber base was 30.4 million. Disney+ -- which is available on PS4 -- was close behind, with 26.5 million subscribers.