TV Answer Man, I saw that FuboTV is making new customers pay an extra $10 to watch their 4K programming. Is that really worth it? What do you get for that $10 that you otherwise would not get? Can you inform us? — Marci, Buffalo.
Marci, as you know, FuboTV, one of two multi-channel, live streaming services that offers 4K, has raised the entry price for new subscribers to watch shows in that format. The streamer now requires new customers to subscribe to its $79.99 a month Elite plan to access live sporting events in 4K. Previously, FuboTV included 4K coverage in its base $69.99 a month Pro package.
The live streaming service has not implemented the new pricing for existing customers, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that happened sooner than later.
So for existing and new customers, would FuboTV’s 4K lineup be worth an extra $10?
FuboTV is limited by what the networks broadcast in the format, and what it has the rights to broadcast. For instance, the streamer apparently does not have the rights to live 4K sporting events broadcast by ESPN (unlike YouTube TV, Comcast and DIRECTV, in contrast) which reduces the offering. ESPN offers college football and basketball in-season games in 4K.
To date, Fubo TV has basically only provided live 4K sporting events from Fox and English Premier League soccer from NBC Sports. The upcoming Fox 4K lineup includes two USFL games this weekend while NBC Sports will provide the Tottenham-Arsenal EPL soccer match on Thursday. Fubo next week has two NASCAR races and another EPL game scheduled in 4K, although Fox will likely add a couple more USFL games.
As you can see, it’s not a lot, and it’s certainly considerably less than DIRECTV which shows the Fox 4K broadcasts, ESPN 4K, the EPL 4K games and regional baseball and basketball games in the format. (FuboTV did recently add home Boston Red Sox games from NESN in 4K; they are available in the Boston market. Update: FuboTV also just added home Chicago White Sox games in 4K in Chicago from NBC Sports.) Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison because DIRECTV is regarded as the leader in 4K sports programming, but FuboTV now charges extra for 4K while DIRECTV does not.
It should also be noted that YouTube TV, the other live streamer that offers 4K, charges $20 extra to watch sports and non-sports in the format. Perspective.
Marci, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann