Hulu Live TV Adds Features, fuboTV Takes Them Away - A Tale of Two $69.99 Streamers
In the battle for live TV streaming supremacy, Hulu Live TV is surging ahead while fuboTV can’t stop shooting itself in the foot. When both services are $69.99 for the base plan, why would anyone choose fuboTV?
To recap the past few months for Hulu Live TV:
- Hulu Live TV raised its price by $5/month
- Hulu Live TV now includes the Disney Bundle at no extra price: Disney+ and ESPN+
- Hulu Live TV now includes an unlimited DVR and you can fast-forward through commercials
- Hulu Live TV added OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
- Hulu Live TV dropped its free trial
And here’s what fuboTV did over that same time:
- fuboTV added a few dozen ABC affiliates
- fuboTV added FanView to Multiview (only on Apple TV)
- fuboTV raised its RSN fees to $9 in New England and Chicago
- fuboTV created a special news tier with four additional little-watched news channels
- fuboTV switched to a quarterly billing plan before dropping it 10 days later
- fuboTV raised its base price to $69.99/month while eliminating the $64.99/month plan, which gave users a 1,000 Hour DVR (was 250) and 10 At-Home Streams (was 3)
- fuboTV added Ticker NEWS and Tastemade Travel
- fuboTV added Red Sox games in 4K
- fuboTV removed 4K access from its basic streaming plan for new customers
At the end of the day, both services went up $5/month, but the value provided by the Hulu Live TV price hike is significantly better than what fuboTV offered in return. The fact that fuboTV raised its prices and killed 4K for those subscribers is a real head-scratcher. And new fees in New England and Chicago can’t sit well with fans in those areas.
On top of all this, fuboTV doesn’t allow you to watch the ongoing NBA playoffs since it doesn’t have TNT. And fuboTV subscribers are missing out on NHL playoffs and MLB games on TBS. For a service that offers allegedly superior sports options, that’s a killer.
If you’re going to spend $69.99/month for live TV streaming, it’s hard to argue against Hulu Live TV at this point. The only reason to choose another service would be if you need a specific cable channel Hulu doesn’t carry or your local RSN in select markets. In the case of fuboTV vs. Hulu Live TV, that comparison only gives fuboTV the edge if you need AMC, Hallmark Channel and WE tv.
In that trade-off, fuboTV subscribers are also giving up an unlimited DVR, free Disney+ and ESPN+, along with the opportunity to watch A&E, Cartoon Network, CNN, History, Lifetime, TBS, TNT and truTV. That opportunity cost is huge. The fact is, the Disney Bundle provides so much on-demand entertainment, subscribers may not even need a Netflix or HBO Max account.
While there are some reasons to choose fuboTV over Hulu Live TV, those are extremely narrow use cases at this point. When you remove a financial incentive, cord-cutters are left to weigh the merits of each service based on features alone. And while Hulu Live TV seems to get stronger over time, the value of fuboTV seems to erode.
With just over 1 million subscribers and its stock down 90% over the last five months, does fuboTV have what it takes to survive? Unless something dramatic changes, it’s going to be a long, hard road ahead.