Most FuboTV subscribers will need to find an extra $5 in their TV budget — and few will escape seeing their bill jump an extra $10.99 or $13.99 at the top of their trip.
The New York-based streaming service announced the rate increases on Friday, detailing them on its website(Opens in a new window) as a consequence of adding over 70 channels last year: “As our costs to bring you this programming increase, we occasionally have to adjust our subscription prices.”
Fubo’s mainstream Pro plan, with 148 channels, will increase from $64.99 to $75.99, while its 208-channel Elite plan will increase from $79.99 to $84.99.
Subscribers to Fubo’s now discontinued Ultimate plan will not see a rate increase. As media journalist Matthew Keys explained at The Desk(Opens in a new window)that the $99.99/month plan has been replaced by a new $94.99/month Premier plan that no longer includes Fubo’s $10.99/month Sports Plus add-on.
Meanwhile, for a great many Fubo customers, the total increase will be more like $16 or $19 now that Fubo has separately chosen to follow cable TV’s longstanding habit of imposing regional sports network (RSN) surcharges. Previously, they had been free on Pro and higher plans.
Viewers who get one RSN will get an extra $10.99(Opens in a new window), while those who get two or more will see a $13.99 charge added. As a Fubo note on the RSN fee(Opens in a new window) prevails, there is no opt-out.
Spot checks on Fubo’s RSN notice page(Opens in a new window) in the 10 largest metropolitan markets(Opens in a new window) show $13.99, the two-RSN fee that applies in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami and New York, while Philadelphia, Phoenix and Washington subscribers will eat an extra $10.99 because Fubo only provides a single RSN in each of these areas.
But even viewers who don’t live near a major stadium can be liable. Fubo’s website reports that Seattle’s Root NW is on the menu in Nome, Alaska, nearly 2,000 miles northwest of the Mariners’ T-Mobile Park, so they’ll also pay an extra $10.99/month. (Realistically, the broadband situation in large parts of the Last Frontier may preclude viewing via Fubo or other services.)
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The reaction in Reddit’s r/FuboTV forum(Opens in a new window) to the RSN rate increase can politely be described as “unamused.”
Other streaming providers have responded to the escalating fees of RSNs by dumping them outright. Google’s YouTube TV, for example, dropped dozens of these networks during 2020(Opens in a new window)including those carrying the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Some sports networks, meanwhile, have begun selling stand-alone access to sports fans in response to the growing opposition. For example, Bally Sports network owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group – as Fubo announced(Opens in a new window) in December will soon be available on the service – is now available directly for $19.99 a month.
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