Bundles for internet-based “cord-cutting” TV plans generally aren’t that cheap, in large part because they have to account for the expensive sports channels that are usually considered the chief selling points of these deals.
But not all of us like sports. And if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t care to know the difference between a quarterback and a shortstop, the new Philo “live TV” streaming service might be the best choice for you.
That’s basically Philo’s whole deal: it doesn’t include sports. Instead, it’s focused instead on “entertainment,” lifestyle and educational programs.
The upshot of this approach is that the whole plan only costs $16 a month, which gives Philo a significant edge over competitors like Hulu Live TV (which costs $40 a month) and YouTube TV (which costs $35 a month). The price even makes it competitive with the popular Sling TV, which at its least expensive still costs $20 a month.
On the bench
So let’s get the bad news out of the way. Many of the larger networks like CBS, Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal sell their content as bundles with the sports channels included, so that automatically puts them out of the picture. That means you’ll be missing out on entertainment content from some of the world’s largest providers, which hardly sounds like a good deal.
The good news is that there are still 37 perfectly enjoyable channels left to choose from, be they BBC America, BET, The Discovery Channel, The History Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, VH1 or Viceland.
Toss in an extra $5 per month, and you can extend those channels to include the American Heroes Channel, BET Her, the Cooking Channel, Destination America, Discovery Family, Discovery Life, Logo, MTV Live and Nicktoons.
Once you sign up, you can access the service from most web browsers, smartphones, connected TVs, the Chromecast and Roku devices, and eventually it will make its way to devices like the Apple TV. The service also allows for 30-day DVR, simultaneous viewing of up to three streams and eventually it will offer a social network that allows you to share your favorite content with your friends.
Philo has actually already been around since 2009 on college campuses, and it’s helmed by Andrew McCollum, one of the founders of Facebook. For this new push into live TV, though, the company managed to secure $25 million in investments from A+E, AMC, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom, according to Business Insider.
We’d say it sounds a bit like a home run if you’re more into general entertainment than sports, but come to think of it, that’s probably not the best analogy.