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Budget Online TV Service Philo Launches

14 Nov, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Philo, the online TV platform co-financed by Discovery Communications, Viacom, Scripps Network Interactive, A+E Networks and AMC Networks, Nov. 14 formally bowed service.

In a crowded online TV market without sports or a major broadcaster in the lineup, price differentiation can be a company's best selling tool.

Indeed, for $16 monthly and mobile phone number (for ID purposes), Philo subscribers get streaming access to 37 pay-TV channels, including AMC, BBC America, DIY Network, MTV, Spike and TLC, among others.

For an extra $4, subs can stream nine additional channels — but no sports, ESPN, Disney or other major broadcasters, mainstays of rival $20 service Sling TV. Philo is available on the Web or via Roku, iOS and Android Chrome.

Other online TV players include DirecTV Now, YouTube TV ($35) and Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Hulu TV ($40).

Philo subs can watch on up to three devices simultaneously. Content can be recorded up to 30 days.

Launched in 2011 as a streaming service to college students, Philo is headed by Andrew McCollum, who became CEO after starting out as an angle investor.

“Philo isn’t designed for the full-package consumer,” Tom Gorke, head of distribution at Viacom, told The Wall Street Journal. “But I believe there’s also a sizable population that really would want something like this.”

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