FuboTV Axes Base Tier, Ups Price $5

(Image credit: FuboTV)

With the leading three virtual pay TV services now all priced at $70 a month, the going rate for vMVPD services has doubled in a little over five years from the $35 price point commanded in a more formative -- and hopeful -- era of the vMVPD model.

FuboTV told existing "Starter" tier customers over the weekend that their $64.99 plan, which includes more than 100 channels, is being scuttled. Effective May 1, they'll be bumped up to the 115-plus-channel "Pro" tier and charged $70 a month. And, of course, the Pro tier will be the new entry point for new customers. 

The change is outlined in a fuboTV FAQ published here.

Notably, customers who have signed up for fuboTV through Roku, with Roku handling billing, are not affected at this time. Roku users are still offered the $64.99 service with a seven-day free trial. 

The change is only affecting "Starter" tier users and customers of select legacy promotional plans -- existing "Pro" and "Elite" customers will experience no changes ... for now. 

With the compulsory upgrade users get increased cloud DVR storage (up to 1,000 hours of HD) and expanded household simultaneous streams (up to 10 now). They're also getting some valuable sports networks -- namely, NBA TV, MLB Network and NHL Network. There's also some entertainment networks tossed in -- GAC Family and Magnolia Network included. 

FuboTV said it reached 1.13 million subscribers in the fourth quarter. But quarterly losses remain high for the company, which is trying integrate value-added components like sports betting into its acumen so that it can escape the crushing gravity of being simply another low-margin vMVPD. ■

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!