- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cord cutters who don’t care much for sports or cable news have a new option that will set them back just $16 a month. 

Philo is hitting the market thanks to a $25-million investment from five content providers — A+E, AMC, Discovery, Scripps and Viacom — USA Today reported Tuesday. 

The $16 package yields 37 cable channels, ranging from A&E to We. Four dollars more gets an account holder access to 9 other channels, including MTV Live and BET Her.  By contrast, YouTube TV costs subscribers $35 a month to access 40 channels, and includes 6 sub-accounts. Hulu with Live TV costs $39.99 per month for 50 channels.

The Philo app is available for download on Roku, but not yet for Apple TV or Amazon TV, although the company hints on its website that those platforms may be available soon. Philo is, however, accessible on Mac and PC computers and iOS and Androids smartphones and tablets.

Both Philo packages come with cloud-based DVR that stores programs up to 30 days and allow for three devices to access the content at any given time.

But unlike most streaming packages, Philo lacks both national and regional sports networks such such ESPN and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.

Philo may not be a good fit for news junkies. While BBC World News is included, U.S.-based mainstays like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC are not.

What’s more, unlike YouTube and Hulu’s packages, local affiliates for the major over-the-air networks are not included.

But Philo’s backers suggest that’s the idea: the pared-down service is designed for budget-conscious consumers who want primarily entertainment programming.

“We really do think there may be a marketplace for a very well-defined set of entertainment, great brands at a reasonably-priced bundle,” Henry Ahn of Scripss Networks Interactive said, reported USA Today.

To hook in new customers, Philo is now offering a free 7-day trial period that requires just a U.S.-based 10-digit cellphone number in lieu of a current credit-card number. 

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