Live TV streaming started out as a way to save money compared to traditional cable and satellite. While that’s still true, the times they have been changing. Over the last couple of years, the live TV streaming landscape has changed dramatically, thanks to the arrival of so many new services and subscriptions. While many might assume an increased level of competition would result in lower prices, nothing could be further from the truth. Every major live TV streaming service has increased the price of its plans over the years.
Some have not only increased the cost, but decreased the number of channels at the same time, resulting in services that offer even less value than before. The Streaming Better price increase tracker monitors all live TV streaming cost increases to help consumers better understand the track record for the most popular live TV services. The goal is to not only make consumers aware of the current prices if signing up today, but also the price increase history of the services they are considering.
While a consumer might be swayed by a service that’s currently accepting signups at a few dollars less than another, if the cheaper service has a history of increasing the cost while the more expensive service doesn’t (or only recently upped the price), the subscriber may actually be better off with the higher-priced service to begin with. Nowadays, knowing the price history of a subscription service is just as important as the actual price.
Price increase summary
Disclaimer: The information and prices listed in this tracker relate to the entry-level plans for each service and do not take into account any additional charges, fees, taxes or add-ons. The purpose of this guide is to simply address the lowest advertised price for live TV streaming. The table below provides a summary of the current subscription cost for each service and the various changes. Prices are rounded to the nearest $1.
Price increase tracker summary: updated March 2023
|Current||Original||Increase #1||Increase #2||Increase #3||Increase #4||Increase #5||Increase #6|
|Hulu Live TV||$70||$40||$5||$10||$10||$5|
While the table above provides good insight into the various price increases, the graph below offers a visual of the price rise trend over time.
As the graph shows, live TV streaming pricing remained steady right up until 2018. While there were some price increases in 2018, the more significant ones occurred in 2019 and 2020. There were also some increases in 2021, but these tended to be a little lower on average, and not every live TV service increased its price. The situation was very similar in 2022 with price increases affecting all live TV streaming services other than Philo and YouTube TV.
DirecTV Stream’s no-contract service has gone through a number of rebrands over the last few years, resulting in more than one price increase while operating under DirectTV Now, AT&T TV Now and AT&T TV. The service was rebranded as DirecTV Stream in August 2021.
At launch, AT&T was offering one of its best plans (Go Big) for just $35 per month – the same price as the lesser Live a little plan. However, it was only an introductory price with the Go Big package actually listed at $60 per month. In January of 2017, the move from $35 to $60 for Go Big took effect. Those who subscribed before the initial price change remained locked in at a cheaper rate, with AT&T guaranteeing their price would remain $25 less than the current non-promotional price. Regardless of whether grandfathered or not, price increases have become a common occurrence for subscribers since then.
AT&T TV/DirecTV Stream price increase history
November 2016: DirecTV Now launched in the U.S. At the time, the cheapest available plan was Live a little, priced at $35 per month.
July 2018: AT&T upped the price of Live a little by $5 per month. This resulted in the entry-level live TV streaming plan costing $40 per month.
March 2019: Another price increase arrived, and this time the amount was $10 per month. As a result, Live a little climbed to $50 per month.
August 2019: The wider AT&T TV Now rebrand took effect, including a rebranding of the entry-level plan as Plus. This was more than a simple name-change as the Plus plan also contained fewer channels than Live a little.
November 2019: AT&T TV Now raised its prices once again with $15 added to the base cost. This was the second price rise to hit the service in the same year.
April 2020: In what was an unusual move for the company, AT&T lowered the price of its entry-level Plus plan down from $65 to $55 per month. However, the reduction also resulted in the removal of HBO, ahead of the launch of HBO Max.
January 2021: AT&T TV Now merged with AT&T TV resulting in a sort of price increase, with the cheapest AT&T no-contract plan now costing $69.99 per month.
January 2022: In August of 2021, AT&T TV was rebranded as DirecTV Stream, although the plans were unaffected by the change. In January 2022, DirecTV Stream did increase the cost, but the price increase only applied to the most expensive plans. As a result, the cheapest Entertainment plan remained the same price.
January 2023: DirecTV Stream started 2023 with a price increase. Unlike the January 2022 change, this price increase affected all plans including Entertainment. As a result, the cheapest DirecTV Stream plan increased to $74.99 per month.
AT&T TV/DirecTV Stream price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|Nov. 2016||Service launch||$35|
Technically, fubo launched its streaming service back in 2015. At the time, it was a dedicated sports streaming service, priced at just $7 per month. In fact, it wasn’t until 2017 when fubo announced it was transforming the service into the robust live TV product it is today. Considering that’s when the current fuboTV service was born, that’s also when we are tracking the price history from.
When fuboTV launched in its current form, it was a competitively priced live TV service, and it has remained a competitively priced option since then. However, as the average price of live TV streaming has increased over time, the cheapest plan today costs almost double the original price.
fuboTV price increase history
April 2017: fuboTV launched with the main plan priced at just $34.99 per month. This was an introductory offer and always listed as a limited-time deal. The plan was fubo Premier and the company continued to insist this plan would eventually cost $49.99 per month. However, that change never technically took effect, due to a rebranding.
May 2018: fubo Premier became the fubo plan, priced at $44.99 per month. Although not an official price increase, it still felt like one. In spite of the higher cost, the new plan remained under the $49.99 per month fuboTV had always insisted was coming. Along with the standard fubo plan, a new fubu Extra package was announced. fubo Extra was priced at $49.99 per month and came with an extended channel lineup.
March 2019: fuboTV transformed its plans once again. This time there was only one plan available, fubo Standard. Along with the change came an official price rise that increased the cost of the base package by $10 per month to $54.99. With the Extra plan gone, new subscribers were given the option of upgrading the Standard plan to either a Family or Ultra version, priced at $59.99 and $79.99, respectively. Although fuboTV no longer offered the Extra plan, existing subscribers were subjected to a monthly price increase of $10, taking the cost to $59.99.
July 2020: fuboTV announced its latest price increases, resulting in the Standard plan rising to $59.99 and the Family plan rising to $64.99 per month. In addition, the service also announced it was migrating all existing Standard subscribers over to the Family plan, unless they requested otherwise. This amounted to a $10 increase in the monthly cost.
December 2020: fuboTV did not implement a price increase but did completely remove the option to sign up to the Standard plan. This resulted in the cheapest fuboTV plan costing $65 per month.
March 2022: Similar to the change in 2020, fuboTV did not increase the price but did remove the Starter plan. This resulted in the cheapest fuboTV plan now costing $70 per month.
January 2023: fuboTV increased the price of all of its base plans, resulting in the cheapest Pro plan increasing to $74.99 per month. At the same time, fuboTV also increased the cost of its Regional Sports Fee to account for the addition of Bally Sports channels to its lineup. January 2023 also resulted in the introduction of a $95 Premier plan as a replacement to the $99 Ultimate plan.
fuboTV price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|April 2017||Service launch||$34.99|
|May 2018||Plan rebrand||$44.99|
Hulu Live TV
Hulu Live TV is a very popular option for live TV streaming, but it hasn’t been without its price increases. In spite of the change in price over the years, the service has managed to maintain a healthy subscriber base. One of the reasons for this is the overall value that’s on offer.
Previously, Hulu bundled its basic Hulu plan with its live TV service, creating the ‘Hulu plus live TV’ plan. Towards the end of 2021, Hulu also bundled both the Disney+ and ESPN+ subscriptions with the live TV plan as well. Although the price is now higher, the cost of access to the various live TV channels might actually be cheaper for some households, especially those that are already subscribing to all of these additional services at the same time.
Hulu Live TV price increase history
March 2017: Hulu entered the live TV market with the launch of Hulu + Live TV. The service initially launched in beta and was priced at $39.99 per month. Although the service did eventually leave its beta status behind, Hulu managed to maintain the same price point right up until 2019.
January 2019: Hulu announced a live TV price increase in January, due to take effect in February. The price increase equated to an additional $5 per month, bringing the cost of a Hulu Live TV subscription up from $39.99 to $44.99. Considering the price of basic Hulu went down at the same time, this technically resulted in a $7 price increase.
November 2019: In the same year that Hulu announced its first live TV price increase, it announced another. This time the increase was $10, bringing the cost of the base package up to $54.99 per month. The price increase came into effect on December 18 and affected both new and existing subscribers.
November 2020: Exactly one year later, the next Hulu Live TV price increase was announced. Similar to the previous once, Hulu increased the price of a subscription by $10, bringing the total to $64.99 per month. This was the second year in a row that a Hulu Live TV price increase took effect on December 18.
December 2021: For the third year in a row, Hulu Live TV encountered another price increase at the end of the calendar year. However, this one was a little different for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the increase was only $5 and not $10. Secondly, Disney+ and ESPN+ were also bundled with the live TV subscription.
Hulu Live TV price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|March 2017||Service launch||$39.99|
In its current form, Philo entered the market in November 2017. Unlike a lot of the other services, Philo has always positioned itself as an extremely affordable live TV option. For example, when Philo first launched, the price of its entry-level plan was just $16 per month. While it now costs more, it is still significantly cheaper than most other live TV streaming services.
The lower price does mean it is a slightly different live TV offering, with some consumers possibly finding the selection of channels too limiting. However, for many homes, the service might just strike the right balance between the channel lineup and the price per month.
Philo price increase history
November 2017: Philo launched a live TV service, priced at $16 per month. Subscribers had the option to upgrade to a greater selection of channels for an extra $4 per month. This upgrade became known as the “$20 plan.”
May 2019: Philo deletes the $16 plan altogether, leaving new subscribers with no option other than the $20 plan.
June 2021: In a rare instance, Philo increased the price of its live TV plan by $5, taking the total up to $25 per month. This price increase only applied to new users, with existing subscribers locked in at the older $20 per month rate.
Philo price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|Nov. 2017||Service launch||$16|
|May 2019||$16 plan removed||$20|
Similar to Philo, Sling TV is another low-cost option and was actually one of the first skinny live TV streaming services to launch in the U.S. In many ways, Sling TV helped to set the low-cost bar to begin with. Today, it is best to consider Sling TV as more of a middle-ground service that bridges the gap between options like Philo and Hulu/YouTube TV.
While Sling TV rarely increases the cost, the base plans have continued to suffer in terms of the selection of channels. Sling TV looks to remedy this by adopting an a la carte approach where subscribers can add a variety of add-ons to their base plan at an additional cost. This fragmented approach not only helps to keep base prices low, but it also means that overall price increases tend to be less noticeable. For example, the various add-on packs have seen their own increases, but as they only affect those subscribed to an add-on, they don’t tend to make as many headlines.
Sling TV price increase history
February 2015: Sling TV launched and following a brief invitation-only period becomes available to the general public. The service was originally priced at $20 per month.
June 2018: Sling TV is a much-changed service by now and facing additional competition in the market. This, along with rising costs, resulted in Sling TV announcing a $5 price increase. The rise resulted in the price of the Sling Orange and Sling Blue plans increasing from $20 to $25 per month.
December 2019: Similar to most other live TV streaming services, Sling TV did not escape a 2019 price increase. On December 23, Sling confirmed an increase of $5 per month to all of its plans, bringing the cost up to $30 per month.
January 2021: At the start of 2021 Sling TV announced another $5 price increase. This one took immediate effect on January 27 for new subscribers but was delayed until July 2021 for those already signed up to the service. This price increase saw the cost of the Orange and Blue plans rising to $35 per month. Likewise, the cost of the combined Sling Orange + Blue plan increased by the same amount, taking the total to $50 per month.
November 2022: After almost two years without a price increase, Sling TV increased the price of all of its plans by an additional $5 per month. This price rise resulted in the cost of the Sling Orange and Blue plans increasing to $40 per month, and the combined Sling Orange & Blue plan increasing to $55 per month.
Note: Sling added local ABC stations to its Sling Blue plan in March 2023 in select markets and this resulted in a $5 price increase. However, as this fee is tied to ABC, not all subscribers in all areas are subjected to the $5 increase.
Sling TV price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|February 2015||Service launch||$20|
Vidgo arrived to market a little later than many other services, but it does provide another alternative to the main live TV streaming services. Originally launched in 2019, Vidgo was offered at a highly discounted price during the initial soft launch period. The full launch took place later the same year, and the price increased to its standard per month rate. Since then, Vidgo has somewhat played with its plans and prices, and this ultimately resulted in a fairly major price increase in 2021. In 2022, Vidgo introduced another price increase.
One of the main ways Vidgo looks to distinguish itself from the rest is by focusing on chat-based features. For example, the Vidgo mobile app comes with the ability for users to start a watch party and chat with others, while watching the same live show or event.
Vidgo price increase history
September 2019: Vidgo launches its National English Package in the US. This was only a soft launch with an introductory rate, resulting in subscriptions starting from $14.99 per month.
December 2019: Vidgo’s proper launch in the U.S. takes place, with the price of its National English Package rising to $39.99 per month. While the National English Package was eventually rebranded as the Core plan, the price did not change.
Q2 2021: In 2021, Vidgo adjusted the price of its plans, as well as the plans themselves, appearing to settle on $55 per month for its English Plus (formerly Core) plan and $79.95 for its English Premium plan.
March 2022: While the English Premium plan price remained unchanged, the English Plus plan encountered a $4.95 increase in March of 2022. This resulted in the cheapest Vidgo plan costing $60 per month.
January 2023: Vidgo quietly increased the cost of its base live TV package at the end of January. This 2023 price increase resulted in the cost of the base plan rising from $59.95 to $64.95, an increase of $5.
Vidgo price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|September 2019||Soft launch||$14.99|
|December 2019||Full launch||$39.99|
Like Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV is another hugely popular live TV streaming service. While it may have taken YouTube TV some time to become available nationwide, it has gone on to attract plenty of subscribers over the years and is now credited as being the most popular live TV streaming service in the United States.
One of the refreshing aspects of YouTube TV is that there are no complicated plans or options to choose from. Since the beginning, there’s only ever been the one YouTube TV plan, with all subscribers gaining access to the same channel lineup. Some add-ons have been launched since then, but the main plan remains the only base option. Unfortunately, that same plan has been the subject of multiple price increases.
YouTube TV price increase history
February 2017: Google and YouTube launch YouTube TV. A new live TV streaming service priced at $34.99 per month.
March 2018: YouTube TV announced its first price increase with $5 added to the cost, resulting in a subscription rising to $39.99 per month. This price increase only affected new subscribers, with existing subscribers remaining locked at $35 per month.
April 2019: YouTube TV announced its second price increase, and this time existing subscribers were not so lucky. The 2019 price increase equated to $10 per month, bringing the cost of the only YouTube TV plan up to $49.99. As existing subscribers were not exempt this time, the actual increase was equal to $15 per month for some subscribers.
June 2020: YouTube TV announced a major price increase by adding $15 to the monthly cost. As a result, the standard (and only) YouTube TV subscription climbed from $49.99 to $64.99 per month, making YouTube TV one of the more expensive base plans around. Similar to the April 2019 price increase, no subscribers were exempt from this one.
March 2023: YouTube TV announced its first price increase in almost three years and added $8 to the monthly cost. As a result, the price of the base plan rose from $64.99 to $72.99 per month. The price increase went into effect March 16th for new subscribers and April 18 for existing subscribers. At the same time, YouTube TV reduced the cost of the 4K Plus add-on to $9.99 per month, down from its previous $19.99 price.
YouTube TV price increase summary:
|Date||Increase p/m||Price p/m|
|Feb. 2017||Service launch||$34.99|
Last updated March, 2023