It was nice while it lasted. FuboTV has quietly raised the price on its base streaming TV service from $45 to $55 per month, a 22 percent increase, making it the latest in a succession of price hikes by over-the-top (OTT) live TV streaming services.
In a statement, FuboTV defended the price increase — which so far, only applies to new subscribers — by pointing out that it has added many new features and channels to its service: “With the addition of popular channels over the past year, including AMC, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT and, soon to come, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Paramount Network, TV Land, VH1 and more, plus dozens of other national and regional channels, FuboTV is re-pricing its base subscription package, Fubo, to $55.”
As of the effective start date, March 28, new subscribers will get a one-month $10 break on the new price. “We are committed to continuing to deliver the best of live TV to our customers,” the statement said, “as well as an exceptional user experience with 4K streams and premium features.”
FuboTV remains an outlier in the live TV streaming space, having built its own platform from scratch and earning a name for itself with cord-cutting sports fans, thanks to its original lineup of channels, which still provides a vast array of sports coverage despite the absence of ESPN. It’s also one of only two virtual cable TV services available to Apple customers within the Apple TV App, which will be significantly refreshed in May. FuboTV remains the only live streaming service to offer content in 4K, albeit on a limited basis, for some sports content including NCAA basketball and some upcoming MLB games. The company has additional features planned to give subscribers more reasons to stick around, including greater device support like smart TVs, better personalization and recommendation and an expansion of its cloud DVR functions.
Although it counts AMC and Disney (via its Fox acquisition) as investors, pouring money into a live TV streaming platform can’t be nearly as easy for FuboTV as it is for players like PlayStation Vue, Hulu plus Live TV, Sling TV, and DirecTV Now, all of which are owned by major corporations. Still, investment considerations aside, it’s worth noting that the streaming industry as a whole appears to be gradually encroaching on monthly prices that are within striking distance of the cable and satellite subscriptions they seek to replace.
AT&T’s DirecTV Now increased its price by $10 in November after adding HBO, which was followed in January by Netflix’s own price hike. Hulu followed suit by jacking the price of its Hulu plus Live TV option by $5 per month, in February, even though it also lowered the price of its basic, ad-supported level of service. YouTube TV, once $35 per month, is now $40 per month.
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