Fubo TV restores monthly billing option for new members

(L to R) fuboTV and Sling TV app buttons on Apple tvOS home page
(Image credit: Henry T. Casey)

Update: Since the publication of this article, Fubo TV's restored the monthly payment plan option, but new members will have to select that option, as the sign-up process defaults to quarterly. The original version of this article follows.

Signing up to Fubo TV? Well, looks like you have extra complexities to think about. Tom's Guide has always ranked FuboTV as one of the best cable TV alternatives, but this news doesn't help their case.

The big annoyance that new potential Fubo members will see today finds that month-to-month billing is no longer offered when signing up. Now, new Fubo members will pay in three-month amounts, per quarter of the calendar year. 

The Fubo TV signup process shows quarterly, not monthly, billing options.

(Image credit: Fubo TV)

Normally, Fubo would let you pay on a monthly basis, like most of the best streaming services do. This could change, as a Fubo representative tells Tom's Guide that "We have temporarily made our channel packages available to new subscribers as quarterly plans. We're always experimenting with our channel package offerings to better understand what our subscribers like."

We doubt any subscriber will like quarterly billing, though.

Next, let's talk fees. You may remember the news that Fubo TV was getting regional sports networks (RSNs). 19 Bally Sports RSNs were coming to Fubo, with members in every tier getting whichever channels were in their area. No pricing changes were announced.

Then (according to Cord Cutters News), Fubo emailed subscribers to let them know that a regional sports fee was coming. According to Fubo's support center, these fees start at $11 per month if you have one RSN in your area (based on ZIP code), and those with more RSNs will be charged $14 per month. 

These fees are not advertised in Fubo's home page, and arrive in a bit of a sticker-shock moment while signing up, as you can see here:

The Fubo TV signup process adds Regional Sports fees

(Image credit: Fubo TV)

Fubo's support page says these changes are required to "continue bringing you the best in sports programming," and that there is no way to opt-out.

Of course, you don't need any RSNs to watch the Super Bowl online, but you'll be charged for them anyway.

Analysis: Cord-cutting keeps getting more expensive

I don't want to go back to cable, but fubo subscribers may be shaking their heads at all of these practices. Moving away from monthly billing and adding fees at the last stage of signup are the kinds of things that cable companies were known for.

And it all makes competitors YouTube TV ($65 per month), Sling TV ($40 per month) and Hulu + Live TV ($69 per month) look better by comparison.

Sling, though, is adding $5 per month to Sling Blue packages in select regions, as Sling adds the ABC network.

The Fubo TV home page section that reads "LIVE SPORTS & TV WITHOUT CABLE 100+ channels. Live and on demand. Cloud DVR included. Start Free Trial No hidden fees. Cancel anytime."

(Image credit: Fubo)

Fubo's own home page says "No hidden fees. Cancel anytime," But these two changes may have some crying foul.

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Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.