Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Is Fubo FUBAR?

The news hit this weekend about Fubo's new pricing structure. If you're new to Fubo TV, you can sign up, but the monthly plan is no longer available. The shortest plan is a quarterly plan. And, the pricing is all jacked up, too. That's the really big story, I think.

Let me clarify: by "jacked up" I mean a couple of things.

One thing I mean is a price increase. Fubo seems to have hidden a price increase into all of this. They've upped their prices by a huge amount, then turned around and discounted it to the current price.

The other thing I mean is that whoever at Fubo knows math was left out of the whole thing. The math is wrong. But, as I'll show, even if you take the best way of looking at it, the prices are really high. And Fubo is now the most expensive live streaming service, taking the crown from DirecTV Stream and Hulu+Live TV.

First, let's look at the pricing schedule for new users.

I don't see a monthly plan. And neither do you.

Now, if you've subscribed before, and log in with your old credentials, you'll be presented with the option to renew at whatever old rate you had, for one month at a time. I haven't resubscribed, so I don't know if the renewals are monthly, or if they change to quarterly. I suspect monthly, but I don't know that for certain, and haven't seen anyone who has resubscribed after this change hit.

The other thing I don't know is for new subscribers, is if the renewal is at quarterly intervals, or if it reverts to monthly after the first quarter. I suspect the term is quarterly going forward, but I don't know that.

That leads to the really big story. Fubo TV went up in price. Notice the $65/month price listed. That's what Fubo has been for some time. So, where's the price increase? Look next to the price. See the "29% savings" thing? What that is saying is that the most recent price of $65/month is now a discounted price of 29% off.

Now, I'm pretty good at math, but I am going to round to the nearest dollar to keep the numbers simple. This will give you a good idea of what to expect, okay?

If $65/month is a 29% savings, that mean the regular price is $92/month (actually $91.53). A savings percentage reflects off the full price. Take 92 and subtract 29% (or multiply by .71, same thing). You get about 65. That means that to get a 29% savings at the $65/month price, the full price is nearly $92/month. That's a huge price increase. In fact, it's an over 40% price increase. Take 65 and multiply by 1.4 (that's adding 40%) and you get 91.

Now, if you actually click through the signup as a new person, you see a different price, however. Fubo says the regular monthly price is $80.97. That's a nearly 25% price increase.

Anyway you look at it, Fubo's math is wrong, and that's probably just a mistake, not a an outright lie. Somebody screwed up, and is giving out bad numbers, and probably not on purpose. But even then, that works out to Fubo TV increasing their prices by over 24%. And that's the best-case scenario.

Of course, it bears repeating that this pricing is for new subscribers. Current, and apparently previous, subscribers get the monthly option still, at the monthly rate we're used to seeing, which is the monthly average of the new quarterly plans.

But does any of this matter? Yes. Yes it does matter. But let's look at both sides of the argument.

If you think Fubo TV's $65/month plan is a good thing, and you plan to subscribe for at least three months anyway, there's no big deal. You'll still get the same good service at the same price. So, if you look at it like this, it doesn't matter.

But to me it does matter. Here's what I don't like. One of the biggest attractions about streaming plans is the fact you can subscribe for one month at a time. And you still can for Sling TV, Philo, Frndly.TV, Vidgo, YouTube TV, Hulu+Live TV, DirecTV Stream, and others. But not Fubo. Not Fubo.

Nothing about the service itself has changed, just the term of service. It's now three months. And I don't like that. I didn't like being locked in to long term plans for cable, and I don't like a streaming service trying to lock me in for a longer time.

I'm worried that if this succeeds, the dams will break. And if that happens, the "damns" will break as well

[Link to video]

Fubo TV is still a streaming service that offers a good selection at a reasonable price on average. But I don't expect them to be in my Streaming Live going forward.

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