Why fuboTV’s Recent Price Hike is Even Bigger than it Seems
Subscribers to the sports-centered live TV streaming service fuboTV got an unpleasant new year’s surprise in early January when Fubo announced it was raising its subscription costs for the second time in eight months. A subscription to fuboTV’s Pro plan is now $74.99 per month to new subscribers, and the Elite plan is now $84.99.
The price increases are live now for new customers and will take effect for existing Fubo subscribers in February. But those were not the only changes in price instituted by fuboTV, and users might be getting much more than they bargained for in terms of price from the service.
The second new price hike from Fubo comes in the form of an increased regional sports network (RSN) fee. Fubo customers with access to RSNs formerly paid $9-$12 monthly fee. Thanks to the new increases, those fees will be $11 per month for customers with one RSN in their market, and $14 per month for customers with two or more RSNs.
The real stinger involved in this increase is the fact that fuboTV will soon carry the Bally Sports RSNs. Bally Sports RSNs have a pretty wide reach, meaning that nearly every market in the country will now be subject to the increased RSN fees.
When those new RSN fees are combined with the $5 increase in monthly subscription costs, it means that fuboTV subscribers who had no RSNs before the Bally Sports deal will see an increase of $17-$19 per month. To be sure, the addition of Bally Sports RSNs warrants an increase of some kind, as they offer a wide variety of live sports. But that’s a hefty increase, especially if users don’t frequently follow the teams offered by these RSNs.
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The news gets worse for customers in markets like San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington which still only carry RSNs from NBC Sports. Previously, those customers had their local NBC RSN as part of their channel lineup, but now they will now be charged the same RSN fee as every other Fubo user, except they won’t be getting access to any new channels. Customers in New York and Boston will see their existing RSN fees increase, but similarly won’t be getting any new content for their money.
The price increases at fuboTV highlight the issues that RSNs are experiencing across the industry. They require increasingly high carriage fees because of the value that live sports bring, but have a necessarily limited market in which to operate because they only provide access to broadcasts of in-market contests. That means that providers must either charge users even more to access them or make users without access to RSNs subsidize those who do have access.
Right now, Fubo is attempting a little bit of both strategies at the same time. Whether these stacked price increases lead to a subscriber revolt of any kind remains to be seen, but it is clear that fuboTV’s recent price increases will have an even bigger impact on customers’ wallets than it appears on the surface.
Fubo is a live TV streaming service with about 90 channels for $74.99/month. This plan includes local channels, 25 of the top 35 cable channels, and regional sports networks (RSNs). In total, you should expect to pay about $85.98/month, after adding in their RSN Fee. Fubo was previously known as “fuboTV.”
The streaming service does not carry channels from WarnerMedia-owned (CNN, TBS, and TNT), A+E (A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime), and AMC Networks (AMC, BBC America, and WE tv).
Fubo is a great option for sports fans, especially those who want to stream local sports. They recently announced added Bally Sports RSNs to their channel lineup.
It is the least expensive option to get RSNs in many markets like Altitude, AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh, AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, AT&T SportsNet Southwest, Bally Sports Arizona, Bally Sports Carolinas, Bally Sports Detroit, Bally Sports Florida, Bally Sports Great Lakes, Bally Sports Indiana, Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, Bally Sports New Orleans, Bally Sports North, Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports Oklahoma, Bally Sports San Diego, Bally Sports SoCal, Bally Sports South, Bally Sports Southeast, Bally Sports Southwest, Bally Sports Sun, Bally Sports Tennessee, Bally Sports West, Bally Sports Wisconsin, Fox Sports Arizona, Fox Sports Carolinas, Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, Fox Sports Indiana, Fox Sports Kansas City, Fox Sports Midwest, Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports North, Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports South, Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Southwest, Fox Sports Sun, Fox Sports Tennessee, Fox Sports West, Fox Sports Wisconsin, Marquee Sports Network, MSG, MSG Sportsnet, NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports California, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Washington+, NESN, Root Sports Northwest, and SportsNet NY.
Fubo also includes MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, NFL RedZone , NHL Network, and beIN Sports (which is not available on most services). You can add Fox Soccer Plus as part of the International Sports Plus add-on for $6/month.
You can add the fubo Extra ($8) to add ~39 channels including Baby TV, Cooking Channel, DIY, and GSN.