Another year has come and gone, along with another round of live TV streaming price increases. After encountering a price increase in 2022, most of the main live TV services still managed to find room to introduce another one during the past 12 months, with the first arriving soon after the start of the new year.
January 2023 price increases
Compared to the rest of the year, January 2023 proved to be an expensive month in the world of live TV streaming. First up was Fubo with its January price increase. Not only did Fubo increase the price of its plans on January 9th, taking the cost of its cheapest package up to $75 a month, but it also increased (and expanded) its RSN fee.
This regional sports network fee was actually more impactful than the main price increase, as it resulted in up to an additional $13.99 being added to the cost of some plans. The expansion of the RSN fee, mostly thanks to the addition of Bally Sports, also resulted in more Fubo subscribers being subjected to this additional fee.
Before January came to an end, DirecTV also increased the price of its DirecTV Stream’s packages. DirecTV Stream’s price increase took effect on January 22nd and resulted in the cost of the cheapest Entertainment package increasing to $75 a month.
This wasn’t the only DirecTV Stream price increase in 2023 either, but more on this later.
February 2023 price increases
With a new month, came a new price increase, and this time it was the turn of Vidgo. The live TV streaming service confirmed its price increase on February 1st, taking the minimum cost of Vidgo up to $65 a month.
Unlike most other price increases, Vidgo only increased the price of its cheapest Plus plan. As a result, the two more expensive packages remained at the same price … for now.
March 2023 price increases
March was another busy month in terms of price increases. Technically, Sling TV increased the price of its plans at the end of 2022 and didn’t increase the cost in 2023. However, some subscribers still found the price of their Sling plan going up.
This was due to the introduction of local ABC in some locations. After initially announcing the change in January, ABC was added to the Sling Blue plan in March. Subscribers that gained access to their local ABC station incurred a $5 a month price increase, taking the minimum cost of Sling Blue up to $45/month and the Orange & Blue plan up to $60/month in these locations.
March also saw YouTube TV encounter its own price increase. After making it almost three years without increasing the price, the cost of the base live TV package rose by $8 a month, up to a minimum of $72.99 a month. Interestingly, YouTube TV also opted to lower the cost of its 4K Plus add-on down to $4.99 a month. This change may have actually resulted in some subscribers paying less each month overall.
Similar to DirecTV, Vidgo increased the price of its plans twice in 2023, with the second increase arriving in March. Unlike the first increase, Vidgo’s second 2023 increase affected all plans and subscribers, raising the cost of the cheapest base package to $69.99 a month.
September 2023 price increases
When it comes to price increases, Frndly TV isn’t a company that gets mentioned often. However, the cheap live TV streaming service did increase the cost of its plans in 2023. The September price increase affected all of Frndly TV’s live TV packages and resulted in the cheapest plan increasing by $1, up to $7.99 a month.
October 2023 price increases
One of the live TV streaming services we haven’t mentioned yet is Hulu Live TV. In October, Hulu was next to increase the price of its live TV package. The October increase added another $7 to the base cost, bringing the price up to a minimum of $76.99 a month. This price increase also resulted in the cost of Hulu’s Live TV Only package increasing from $68.99 to $75.99 a month, and Hulu’s live TV package with ad-free Hulu and ad-free Disney+ increasing from $82.99 to $89.99 a month.
November 2023 price increases
DirecTV Stream wasn’t only one of the first live TV streaming services to increase prices in 2023, but it was also the last to increase prices during the year. Similar to the first price increase, DirecTV’s November price increase affected all plans and increased the price by a minimum of $5 a month.
As a result, the cheapest DirecTV Stream plan increased to $79.99 a month, making it the most expensive of the entry-level packages from all of the main live TV providers.
2023 price increases discussed
With almost all of the main live TV providers increasing the cost of their packages, 2023 was another year of significant change. In fact, Philo was the only notably exception here. While Philo and YouTube both managed to get through 2022 without a price increase, only Philo managed to also get through 2023 without raising its price.
While it is easy to call out companies when they do increase the cost, Philo deserves a shoutout for once again managing to maintain pricing, and especially when so many others seem to seize any opportunity they can to increase the cost.
Speaking of which, we felt the increases by DirecTV and Fubo were the most impacting in 2023. So much so that we jointly awarded both with our 2023 Streaming Worse award for the worst price increase of the year. While the two live TV services implemented their price increases in different ways, both increases were notably for different reasons.
With DirecTV, the two increases in 2023 added a minimum of $10, and this took the minimum cost up to $80 a month. At present, this makes DirecTV Stream’s cheapest plan the most expensive entry-level plan from any of the main live TV streaming services.
|Hulu Live TV
Depending on where you live, however, that might not be technically true. Thanks to Fubo’s 2023 base plan price increase, and its RSN increase and expansion, some Fubo subscribers may have seen their plan increase by as much as $14 a month, taking the minimum monthly price up to as much as $88.98. For those that managed to avoid the RSN fee, their minimum monthly price rose to $74.99 a month.
Elsewhere, Hulu Live TV increased to $76.99 a month, Sling TV to $45 a month (Sling Blue subscribers in select areas), Vidgo up to $69.99 a month, and YouTube TV up to $72.99 a month.
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