Cheaper ser­vice ex­cludes sports

The Columbus Dispatch - - Market Summary - By Tali Arbel

NEW YORK — The hook of the lat­est in­ter­net TV ser­vice is a low price and no sports chan­nels.

An­a­lysts es­ti­mate that in­ter­net TV pack­ages such as Sling TV, YouTube TV and DirecTV Now have so far signed up a few mil­lion cus­tomers. These ser­vices are meant to re­place ca­ble TV with a cheaper price and a smaller bun­dle of chan­nels.

Un­like the ex­ist­ing ser­vices, though, Philo doesn’t of­fer many of the net­works that are of­ten considered must-have. It lacks sports and the dom­i­nant ca­ble news net­works and ex­cludes broad­cast net­works like NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox. In­stead, it fo­cuses on mu­sic and com­edy, scripted se­ries and re­al­ity shows, with net­works like AMC, Food Net­work, HGTV, MTV and Com­edy Cen­tral. (The Spike chan­nel, which is also in­cluded, does tele­vise some mixed martial arts, a type of fight­ing.)

The lack of ex­pen­sive sports chan­nels and other pop­u­lar net­works helps lower Philo’s cost to just $16 a month for 37 chan­nels. That’s cheaper than the other in­ter­net-TV ser­vices.

The com­pa­nies that own the net­works in­cluded in Philo — A+E, AMC, Dis­cov­ery, Scripps and Vi­a­com — to­gether in­vested $25 mil­lion in the com­pany, ac­cord­ing to Philo. The 6-year-old startup helps tra­di­tional ca­ble and satel­lite TV providers stream video on col­lege cam­puses. That tech­nol­ogy busi­ness still ex­ists.

For the new ser­vice, avail­able Tues­day, Philo lets you stream si­mul­ta­ne­ously on three dif­fer­ent de­vices and has an on­line video recorder that stores pro­grams for 30 days. You can watch on com­put­ers, phones and tablets. For now, the only gad­get it’ll work with for watch­ing on a TV is a Roku.

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