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Non-sports fans should look forward to Philo

by Justin Herrick | September 13, 2017September 13, 2017 3:00 pm PDT

Work is underway on a live television streaming service that includes scripted, lifestyle, reality, and children’s programming. It’ll be missing sports programming, usually the most desired piece of content for any platform, in an effort to keep the price low. Rather than forcing pricey sports channels on customers who don’t care about them, a group of media companies is focused on getting their non-sports channels onto a single service.

A+E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery Communications, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Viacom have come together to work on an offering that should cost $20 per month. The project, according to the Wall Street Journal, is known internally as Philo. The name is actually from an existing company that would be powering the new service.

When Philo eventually becomes official, don’t expect to see major channels like ESPN and FS1. Those are the two largest players in sports media. Philo isn’t trying to appeal to viewers of those two and their sister channels. By dropping them, this service can remain as cheap as possible while still offering a wide range of channels.

Channels likely bundled in Philo include A&E, History, Lifetime, MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, TLC, Discovery, and AMC. Notice that channels from Disney, 21st Century Fox, and NBCUniversal are missing. That’s because those three media companies have popular sports channels. Since Philo won’t be utilizing sports programming, they don’t want to provide anything else. It’s an all-or-nothing approach.

The report didn’t include a date for the launch, but it looks like we’re not too far off. Live television streaming services typically debut near the end of a year or the start of a new one.

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Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...


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