FuboTV Sets Rate Hikes as TNT, TBS, CNN Go Dark — With ESPN, Disney Nets Coming in August

Fubo TV - Apple TV

There’s a lot going on at FuboTV these days.

The independent over-the-top TV provider announced a price increase of $5 per month for all of its packages. That comes after FuboTV has lost 11 WarnerMedia/Turner networks — and before ESPN and other Disney networks join the lineup.

As of Wednesday, July 1, WarnerMedia’s suite of networks — TNT, TBS, CNN, CNN International, CNN en Español, HLN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, truTV and Boomerang — has winked off FuboTV, after the two companies were unable to reach a renewal agreement.

“We are disappointed that our deal with FuboTV is not being renewed, as we have been working with them and were open to a potential renewal,” WarnerMedia said in a statement.

In a message on its customer-service site, FuboTV says, “Sometimes, to help us bring you new channels and deliver premium features like live sports in 4K, we need to remove other channels and adjust subscription prices. Therefore, Turner networks will be leaving FuboTV as of July 1.”

FuboTV’s price hikes come ahead of the addition of ESPN and other Disney-owned networks, under a pact with Disney Media Networks announced last week. Those are scheduled to be added to FuboTV sometime in August.

Under the new pricing plans, Fubo Standard increases 9%, to $59.99 per month; the Family Bundle is rising 8% to $64.99 monthly. Those increases take effect starting Aug. 1.

Meanwhile, FuboTV’s Ultra Bundle — which includes Showtime channels and additional sports and entertainment networks — now costs $84.99 per month (up from $79.99), a price change that went into effect for new customers June 30. FuboTV last raised rates in March 2019.

Once positioned as a cheaper alternative to traditional cable and satellite TV, OTT television packages have steadily raised their rates — and they aren’t really a bargain anymore. News of FuboTV’s rate increases comes after Google’s YouTube TV this week jacked up the price of its base package 30%, to $65 per month.

In an FAQ about the rate increases on its website, FuboTV says, “Over the last year, we added dozens of local, national and international channels to FuboTV. Including local CBS, Fox and NBC affiliates, GetTV, NBC LX, Tastemade, TUDNXtra and more. Coming this August you’ll get even more with the addition of Disney and ESPN channels like FX, Disney, Disney Jr, ESPN and more.”

FuboTV first launched in 2015 as a soccer-streaming service, before expanding to add more general entertainment and news channels to the virtual pay-TV service.

Compared with other “virtual” pay-TV players YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and Dish’s Sling TV, FuboTV remains much smaller. According to FuboTV, it had 315,789 paid subscribers as of the end of 2019, up 37% year-over-year.

Earlier this year New York-based FuboTV merged with FaceBank Group, a tech company that creates digital likenesses of celebrities and sports stars. The combined company’s 2019 revenue increased 96% year-over-year to $146.5 million, with the FuboTV service representing $133.3 million of that.