FuboTV is the latest virtual TV service to introduce a sharp subscription fee hike, not long after YouTube TV announced that it was drastically increasing its subscription fees to $65 a month.
The company sent out emails to subscribers today letting them know that standard plans are increasing from $55 a month to $65 as of their next billing cycle following August 1, 2020. As part of the hike, people on standard accounts will be rolled into Fubo’s Family Bundle plan, which includes three simultaneous streams, Cloud DVR Plus, and 500 hours of DVR space, according to the email.
Fubo last increased the price of its standard plan in March 2019, going from $45 to $55 a month. Other FuboTV customers posted screenshots on social media of emails received informing them of $5 increases; FuboTV’s family plan currently costs $60 a month. The Verge has reached out to Fubo for more information.
“Sometimes to help us bring you new channels at the best value, and to deliver premium features like live sports in 4K, we need to remove other channels and adjust subscription prices,” the email reads. “Turner networks will be leaving FuboTV as of July 1, 2020, and subscription prices will be changing.”
“We need to remove other channels and adjust subscription prices”
Quite a bit is changing at FuboTV in the coming weeks. The virtual TV service is receiving a plethora of Disney channels as part of a multi-year deal, including ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3, ABC, ABC News Live, FX, FXX, Disney Channel, Freeform, and National Geographic. The service is also set to lose a number of WarnerMedia channels, however, including TNT and TBS. Deadline reports that WarnerMedia and FuboTV couldn’t come to an agreement. As of July 1st, TNT, TBS, CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, truTV, HLN, TCM, CNN Español and CNN International are expected to not be available.
Price hikes on virtual streaming services often happen when those distributors make agreements to carry more channels. Google made recent agreements to carry WarnerMedia premium channels like HBO and Cinemax, as well as several networks from ViacomCBS like Nickelodeon, BET, Comedy Central, and MTV. Critics speculated that because those deals were being made, and YouTube TV doesn’t have an a-la-carte option — meaning options to purchase a plan without some of the networks carried on YouTube TV — price hikes were imminent. That turned out to be true for both YouTube TV and FuboTV.