NEW YORK, N.Y. – 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.