Virtual Gouge? FuboTV Ups Monthly Prices By as Much as $19 with Cross-Tier Increases, Enhanced RSN Fees

(Image credit: fuboTV)

If you need further reminders that we're long past the days of the $35-a-month skinny-bundled vMVPD, look no further than FuboTV's latest price reconfiguration. 

FuboTV just sent an email to its 1.23 million subscribers informing them that their monthly service fee will rise by $5 starting in February, with new customers already feeling the pain. 

That means the 146-channel "Pro" tier rises to $74.99 a month; the 208-channel "Elite" package goes to $84.99 a month; and the "new" 217-channel "Premier" bundle is priced at $94.99 a month, subsuming the "Ultra" bundle in the process. 

But the real hit will come from enhanced regional sports network fees, that are raising prices and affecting a lot more FuboTV subscribers following Fubo's deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group to carry the Bally Sports RSNs. 

FuboTV declares that it has no hidden fees, and there's no mention of them on the operator's landing page. But they do exist. If your town has one local RSN carried by FuboTV in it, you receive it, old-world linear pay TV style, whether you want it or not. And FuboTV is raising the fee for that one RSN from $8.99 a month to 10.99.

If you have two or more RSNs, your monthly fee is rising from $11.99 a month to $13.99. (You can punch in your zip code here and FuboTV will tell you how many RSNs you're on the hook for.)

Based on Next TV's estimate for its mid-city Los Angeles location, with the introduction of enhanced regional sports network fees of $13.99 a month that came with the arrival of Bally Sports West and Bally Sports SoCal, along with a $5-a-month monthly fee increase across tiers, we'd be paying an additional $19 a month if we signed up for FuboTV today vs. if we did it a month ago. 

If we sign up for the Premiere package, we're paying $108 a month again for pay TV. Might as well call Charter and get a box for that money. 

Speaking at a Citi investor conference earlier this week before word of the price increase broke, FuboTV CEO David Gandler said that while other more entertainment-oriented vMVPDs are subject to a "price ceiling," having a sports-focused user base gives his platform greater price elasticity. 

Notably, while FuboTV just picked up the Bally Sports channels, it elected not to renew its carriage deal with AMC Networks. FuboTV did say that it has added more than 70 channels to its base tier in the last year. ■

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!