Will Philo Replace Your Cable TV Subscription?
Are you bored with broadcast TV networks like CBS, NBC, and ABC? Are you tired of paying the a big chunk of your cable or streaming TV bill for sports channels that you never watch? Then you may be interesting in trying Philo’s new “over-the-top” streaming service that costs a fraction of what YouTube TV, Hulu Live, and others charge.
Philo is Greek for "Love"
For just $16/month, Philo delivers 37 cable TV networks - including A&E, Scripps, Discovery, BBC America and BBC World News, AMC, A&E, HGTV, SCI, Comedy Central, NICK, and more - to your web browser, smart TV, tablet, or phone, including Android and iOS devices. You can record shows on Roku, too. By comparison, Hulu Live costs $40 and YouTube TV, $35.
You won’t get ESPN (or any other sports network), any Disney- or Fox-owned channels, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, or The CW. But for another $4 ($20/month total), you can add The Cooking Channel, Discovery Life, Destination America, MTV Live, Logo, and Nicktoons. That’s 46 channels for less than $0.50 each! Are you feeling the love?
The cable TV portion of my "triple play" package is $35/month. But in addition to the extra $10/month for the cable box rental, they tack on a $4 "Broadcast TV surcharge" and another $7 "Sports TV surcharge." (Broadcast TV is all the local channels you'd get for free, if you had an antenna.) I almost never watch those channels, and those surcharges are irksome to people who don't.
Philo, which started out selling cheap “skinny bundles” of TV channels to college students, has received $25 million in funding from A&E, Scripps, Discovery, AMC and Viacom. These networks are known in the TV industry as “the loser bundle” because they are not usually bundled into the “must take” subscriptions offered by cable TV operators such as Comcast. They lose out on that opportunity to be rammed down consumers’ throats. So they are pleased to be the core of Philo, at a price that should make the “winners” tremble.
If Philo catches fire among a broader base of viewers, it may erode the prices that sports networks are able to charge, and perhaps persuade other service providers that they don’t need sports to sell subscriptions. Either of these possibilities could reduce monthly bills for cable, satellite, and streaming TV consumers.
The NFL, NBA, MLB, and individual teams may have to re-think their positions in the entertainment world, and lower ticket prices as well as TV licensing fees. Local blackouts might be on the table, too.
No Frills, at Least For Now
Philo is launching without fancy apps and other accoutrements of Chromecast, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire devices. The company plans to add those later, along with “social TV” features such as the ability to sync what you and your circle of friends are watching, so you can sit alone at home and still swap comments with your pals.
Meanwhile, Amazon TV has decided not to offer its own “skinny bundle” because it hasn’t been able to figure out how to make a profit from such a venture. That’s surprising, given Amazon’s lifelong tradition of doing things first and then figuring out how to make it profitable.
If you want to try Philo, you can get one week of free access. Your credit card will not be charged if you cancel before the end of your 7 day free trial.
What do you think of Philo’s chances? Would you give up Monday Night Football, cable news, and your local broadcast channels to save more than half of your cable TV bill every month? What are your favorite channels, and do you see them in Philo’s lineups?
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Nov 2017
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Will Philo Replace Your Cable TV Subscription? (Posted: 20 Nov 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved