Mindy Kaling and Cecily Strong at the Hulu upfronts last month. Source: Hulu.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) doesn't earn even half what Hulu gets per subscriber. Fool contributor Tim Beyers says that single metric may explain why onetime Hulu suitor Peter Chernin agreed to invest $500 million with AT&T (NYSE: T) on a new streaming network.

How much does Hulu earn? The network entered last month's "upfronts" meeting with advertisers with 6 million subscribers. Last year, they accounted for about $1 billion in revenue. Dividing the two figures results in an estimated $166.67 per subscriber annually, a nice premium over the $95.88 it costs for a full year of Hulu Plus.

Contrast that with Netflix, which finished the first quarter with 46.14 million paid members generating $3.749 billion in streaming revenue over the trailing 12 months. Dividing those two figures results in an estimated $81.25 per member each year. No wonder Netflix is raising prices.

What should investors take from all this? First, Hulu may be better off than we think. And second, it's possible to create a successful streaming network that still serves ads. You can bet that broadcasters under assault from the likes of Aereo are taking notice, Tim says.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do these figures convince you that Chernin is right to team with AT&T to create a potential rival to Netflix and Hulu? Please watch the video to get the full story and then leave a comment to let us know your take, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Netflix stock at current prices.

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Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team and the Motley Fool Supernova Odyssey I mission. He owned shares of Apple, Google (A and C class), and Netflix at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home and portfolio holdings or connect with him on Google+Tumblr, or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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