Free Bundle Philo Enters Crowded OTT Fray With Roku App

Sports-Free OTT Bundle Philo Launches

Sports-Free OTT Bundle Philo Launches

Today Viacom, Scrips, AMC, A+E, and Discovery announced a new sports free streaming service. Discovery boss David Zaslav has predicted the rollout of entertainment-focused services, as legacy networks like ESPN suffer subscriber erosion and create resentment among distributors and many customers for the high costs stemming from rights deals with the NBA, NFL and other leagues.

Zaslav's ballpark estimate last spring was $10 a month, but Philo is starting with a $16 package of 37 channels, with an optional $4 charge for a tier of nine additional networks.

Among the 46 total networks offered at launch, the only ones offered outside of the five cable programmers are Cheddar (a digital business network that describes itself as "post-cable"), GSN and BBC World News.

Philo will not have programming from NBCUniversal, Disney, CBS, Turner or Fox, as those companies still demand a premium for the channels, in part due to their extensive sports programming. Philo also includes the ability to record an unlimited amount of programmes and watch for 30 days, live pause, restart programmes from the beginning, 3-day catch-up and an extensive VoD library.

At launch, Philo supports web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari), Roku devices, an iOS app, and Android via Chrome (app coming soon), with more platforms to come. Consumers will be able to watch on three devices at once.

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