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Fubo TV raises subscription price after dropping channels

A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange.
A banner with the logo of streaming service Fubo TV hangs outside the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo courtesy Fubo TV via LinkedIn, Graphic by The Desk)

Sports-centric streaming service Fubo TV raised prices on two of its subscription packages on Friday, nearly a week after the provider dropped several top-tier channels.

Fubo TV now starts at $75 a month for a base package of general entertainment, news, sports and lifestyle channels, an increase of $5. The package, called Fubo TV Pro, includes networks from Fox Corporation, Comcast’s NBC Universal, Paramount Global, the Walt Disney Company and others.

The service also raised the price of its Fubo TV Elite plan, which now costs $85 a month; previously, it was $80 a month. The package unlocks more entertainment, news and sports channels.

The changes affect new customers who sign up for Fubo TV, with current customers grandfathered in to the older plan pricing until February 6. Historically, Fubo TV has allowed its existing customers to remain on lower-priced tier for a limited time before moving them to the more-expensive plans.

This week, Fubo TV also eliminated its Fubo TV Ultimate plan, which cost $100 a month for access to over 100 channels of content as well as Showtime and networks in the Sports add-on package. The package has been replaced by a new plan called Fubo TV Premier, which now costs $95 a month and still offers Showtime but no longer includes the Sports Plus add-on. Separately, Sports Plus costs an additional $11 a month.

In addition to the price hikes, Fubo TV said on Friday it would begin charging subscribers an extra fee if they receive one or more regional sports channels in their package. The new fee charged to subscribers will be $11 a month if they receive one regional sports channel, or $15 a month if they receive two or more of those channels. Customers won’t be able to opt-out of the channels in order to avoid the fee, the company said.

Related: Fubo TV to start charging extra for regional sports channels

Pay TV companies like Fubo TV are known to adjust their subscription pricing when channels and features are added or removed. Typically, price increases are the result of distributors like Fubo TV having to pay more to offer broadcast and cable channels to customers.

But the price increase revealed by Fubo TV this week is unusual because it comes several days after Fubo TV removed several channels from its platform: Last Saturday, the company dropped AMC, IFC, BBC America, BBC World News, We TV and Sundance, with no guidance on whether the channels would be re-added at a later date.

This is not the first time Fubo TV has rolled out a price increase after it removed channels from the platform: The company did the same thing in July 2020 after it elected not to renew a carriage agreement with WarnerMedia for TBS, TNT, CNN, the Cartoon Network and other Turner-owned channels. Then, the removed WarnerMedia channels were replaced with ESPN, the Disney Channel, ABC and other networks owned by the Walt Disney Company.

The price increase appears linked to Fubo TV’s mission to provide cord-cutters — consumers who drop traditional cable and satellite for streaming services — with access to more live sports. Last November, Fubo TV’s CEO David Gandler said the company was positioned to increase prices on customers because it offers some live sports channels that aren’t found on other services.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).