walking-dead

First Look: Philo The $16 Sports Free Live TV Streaming Service


Today Viacom, Scrips, AMC, A+E, and Discovery announced a new sports free streaming service. Subscribers to this new service will get access to 35 networks for $16 a month called Philo.

Channels on the new service include A&E, AMC, Animal Planet, AXS TV, BBC America, Cheddar, Comedy Central, Discovery Channel, Food Network, GSN, HGTV, HISTORY, Investigation Discovery (ID), IFC, Lifetime, MTV, Nickelodeon, TLC, Travel Channel.

For an extra $4 more channels can be added to the service. These channels include MTV Live, Nicktoons, Cooking Channel, AHC, Destination America, Family Channel, Life, and Lego. New subscribers will also get a 7 day free trial.

Here is your first look at the new service:

Update a few readers have told Cord Cutters News that the Roku version does NOT offer a guide.

The service includes an unlimited 30-day DVR, plus on-demand programming. You will be able to pause live programming and watch programs from the beginning if they’ve aired within the last three days. You will also be able to watch on up to three devices at the same time.

At launch, this new service will support web browser, Roku devices, an iOS app, and Android via Chrome.

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96 Responses to First Look: Philo The $16 Sports Free Live TV Streaming Service

  1. Jj November 14, 2017 at 8:44 am #

    Does the dvr let you fast forward through commercials?

    • MVO November 14, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      yes… it seems that it does.

  2. jsward12 November 14, 2017 at 8:54 am #

    Any idea if Philo is supported in apps like Nick Jr?

    • Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 9:11 am #

      check yourself

    • Mike Stambaugh November 14, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      No sure on app permissions. But you’d think it would since viacom is involved in the Philo.

      • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 10:20 am #

        I’m sure the OP was referring to individual apps

    • Joseph Blow November 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

      no they do not support the app logins yet.

  3. Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 9:13 am #

    this plus basic Hulu and Pluto for news is great if you don’t care about sports.

  4. Ottis DA Da aD November 14, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    Hmmm… How many streams? I’ll assume one…

    • Garry November 14, 2017 at 9:42 am #

      Three

      • Ottis DA Da aD November 14, 2017 at 11:39 pm #

        WOW… I might just sign up

  5. Cooper McChester November 14, 2017 at 9:29 am #

    Great idea for a sports free option. I like sports but someone who does not, should not have to pay for my sports

  6. JoeRaiderXX November 14, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    How is it that this service can launch with a DVR but DTVN can’t manage to launch one for over a year?

    • filmex November 14, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      It’s called AT&T.

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 10:15 am #

      The people running this service OWN the content.

    • JGaLaXY November 14, 2017 at 1:15 pm #

      DTVN sucks with their software

  7. Tyson Treasure November 14, 2017 at 9:39 am #

    No way to limit bandwidth….still stuck with Sling

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      how’s the video quality of Science Channel on Sling?

    • CordCutting2017 November 16, 2017 at 12:35 am #

      There’s always the no data cap option through Toast.net

      • Tyson Treasure November 16, 2017 at 7:00 am #

        Not for me. I live on the edge of town. Cable only. Max DSL speed here is 768k

  8. Garry November 14, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    Looks good, nice UI for a day one start up. It has no Disney, Hallmark, News or Locals. News I can get free, If DIRECTV NOW would use their line up with NO SPORTS at a reduced price, it would be CORD CUTTERS HEAVEN. That way if you want sports, just pay extra. That would be a WINNER for everyone.

    • NashGuy November 14, 2017 at 11:36 am #

      I saw a rumor on Reddit that DTVN is going to do that: a $20 package without sports or locals. If it’s true, maybe that will roll out with their new redesigned app with cloud DVR early next year.

      • Garry November 14, 2017 at 11:55 am #

        That would be great. I do want locals because I live in heavily wooded area with no antenna reception. If they went ala carte with it all, that would be the option we have been expecting forever. Pay for what we want. The provider that does that, gets it all. Sling ala carte a JOKE!

      • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

        I’m not sure why these companies think sports, news and locals are somehow tied together. Just because I want MSNBC doesn’t mean I care about ESPN.

        • Jj November 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm #

          The companies that own the sports channels largely also own the local & news channels. They usually won’t let you get one of their channels without getting others.

          • CordCutting2017 November 16, 2017 at 12:34 am #

            My locals are own by Tegna (CBS), Graham Media Group (NBC), ABC, FOX…. So, 2/4 of them aren’t nationally owned or tied to other channels that would need to be bundled.

            Tegna in another market runs an ABC station. So, there’s some variety even within a single ownership. Not all franchises are run by the national syndicates.

            http://www.stationindex.com/tv/

        • Mike Thaler November 15, 2017 at 8:06 am #

          What pushed us to cut cable – Comcast put MSNBC into a tier that cost $15 extra because it included ESPN. Fox and CNN were in a lower tier. BBC World was in a very high tier. We want all views on the news – even Murdoch’s.

  9. Chris Miller November 14, 2017 at 9:53 am #

    Any mention of TV everywhere app support?

    • Joseph Blow November 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

      i talked to their chat support and they don’t offer that yet.

      • Chris Miller November 14, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

        Thanks Joseph. If they get that this would be a great option for me.

  10. Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 10:15 am #

    Wish it had a more traditional guide.

  11. Dean G November 14, 2017 at 10:20 am #

    Added it on my Roku, signed up for the 7 day trial but no guide on the Roku????? Am I missing something? Clear picture, haven’t experienced any buffering either.

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 10:36 am #

      Yeah I didn’t see a guide either

      • Dean G November 14, 2017 at 10:57 am #

        I contacted them through the chat function. Was told there is no guide on Roku yet, she said she’ll put it in as a request. Right now only way to see a guide is online and that is how you do the dvr function. It’s a bit weird, but since new service I would assume they are going to make improvements.

        • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 9:39 pm #

          DVR is on the ROKU too it’s just a PITA to use it on there, easiest to just add your shows on the website

          • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 9:43 pm #

            simply gotta hold the OK button on the Roku just not press it quickly, to get to the shows listing and add it to DVR by selecting SAVE from there

          • Dean G November 14, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

            Thanks, I never held it down. I started using the search function to find shows that way. Have to say the stream is excellent, hasn’t buffered not once.

          • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

            no problem, still easier just to add them on the website but if you should be watching and a show is on and it’s one you want to add to the DVR that’s the best way………..

          • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

            and yeah no buffering here either

  12. Rob H. November 14, 2017 at 10:49 am #

    This has the channels I want. I think I’m going to try it out tonight. $16/month you can’t go wrong. I like the Roku support right out of the gate too. I get sports(NHL) via other means.

  13. Jon Schumacher November 14, 2017 at 10:50 am #

    What’s great about the way things are going is choice. The more companies that put out their product the more choices you will have to consume it. When there are 8 ways to get a station one of them will be best for you. No one solution will have everything.

  14. Russ Ray November 14, 2017 at 10:51 am #

    For $4 more, I could get Sling TV with most of these channels and the sports content. So far, I don’t believe the price point works.

    • Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 10:55 am #

      looks good if you want Discovery which Sling is missing

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 11:01 am #

      the $20 Sling package sucks and you don’t get ALL the sports content on the $20 Sling package anyway. and no Discovery channels

      • Russ Ray November 14, 2017 at 11:08 am #

        If it’s supposed to be a discounted service for not getting sports, it’s not very much of a discount.

        • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:38 pm #

          If it has the channels I want more than a $20 Sling package it’s more of value to me than Sling wouldn’t you say? Obviously if someone just HAS to have Disney and ESPN well plenty of options already.

        • Dean G November 14, 2017 at 10:06 pm #

          Depends on what you want, for me it’s an excellent value. Vue does not have A&E or any Viacom , and to get the other channels is $10 more, you do the math. So yes, it’s a good deal.

      • halflifecrysis November 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm #

        And no DVR at $20

    • MVO November 14, 2017 at 11:23 am #

      Philo’s unlimited DVR is nice. I am constantly erasing DVR’d shows on Sling to accommodate new recordings.

    • Huey November 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      You pay $5 extra for DVR with sling. Something to keep in mind.

  15. Lyntill November 14, 2017 at 11:03 am #

    I don’t want sports anymore but I do want news. More accurately, I do want some news channels. I don’t need all of them.

    This is still not the way I want TV. I want to be able to choose the networks I want, one by one, I don’t want any packages, I want individual networks. Until then, I will do the best I can but this is definitely not it, at least not yet.

    • Malignar November 14, 2017 at 11:13 am #

      I think everyone wants no packages. I have no use for news shows but love sports, finding a perfect package of channels will likely not happen at this time. The networks are going to fight going 100% a la carte, though. This is a good step in the right direction. Things are happening quickly in this area now, kinda exciting to see where it goes.

      • Lyntill November 14, 2017 at 12:14 pm #

        It probably is a good step in the right direction for some but not for me. I’ll stick with DTVN which thankfully has the dozen or so channels I want in addition to my OTA channels.

    • MVO November 14, 2017 at 11:19 am #

      BBC World News is one of the channels offered. Pluto TV (free) has a several news channels on offer.

      • Lyntill November 14, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

        I’ve never really watched BBC World. I do watch some content on BBC America but it’s not news. I can only watch so much. Most of my news comes from a wide variety of Internet sources but it’s good to have a few networks when something big is going on. I guess that’s all the time recently.

    • HeyRadar November 14, 2017 at 11:51 am #

      I want to be able to chose individual networks as well. However, I don’t mind bundles that would let you get a better price per channel. e.g. Individual channel is $1.99. 10 channel bundle is $15 ($1.50/channel).

      • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

        That price point would never happen. Channels like TNT for example get $1.50 NOW and that’s with EVERYONE paying for it. now way under al a carte do they still only charge $1.50 when far fewer than half are wiling to pay for it. If you agree to get 25 channels they might only charge $1.50 per channel.

    • Bob Muenchen November 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      Reuters has a good free news app. You tell it how much time you have and it compiles enough news to fit that amount. You can skip a story easily too. In 30 minutes you’ll get one commercial. It seems non-partisan & very well done. However, its volume does jump up and down a bit as it goes from story to story.

      • Lyntill November 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

        I’m going to check into that, Thanks for the tip, Bob.

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:22 pm #

      Just be prepared, al a carte if it ever came is not going to be some $1 per channel utopia. At best you have a basic fee( say $10 )then you choose a minimum number of channels( say 6 ) and each channel would be at least $2-$3 each possibly more depending on popularity.

      • Lyntill November 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm #

        That’s right. It could get very expensive, very quickly, for someone who watches a wide variety of networks. I only watch about 10 besides the OTA networks. However, a couple of those are Hallmark which would probably never go along with something like this. True a la carte TV may be something that will never happen but it’s fun to think about.

        Also, those who watch a lot of sports could find their bills going up a lot if they were no longer subsidized by those of us who don’t watch sports.

    • Mike Thaler November 15, 2017 at 7:59 am #

      One by one would be ideal. That will take a MAJOR in thinking by the companies that own groups of channels – major example, Disney/ESPN.

  16. MVO November 14, 2017 at 11:14 am #

    I don’t like that the channel programming is buried in sub-menus. In order to see the ‘other’ programs on that same channel, you have to first click on a channel. Then press down twice. Then click on ‘More On This Channel’. Then, you can see a list of programming for that day and other ‘Top Shows’ on that channel. The list isn’t comprehensive and many of the shows listed are there in title only… A very slow way to browse programming…. It is also missing the ‘global’ tv program guide, shown horizontally, by time for all channels in one view.

  17. Ryan Ot November 14, 2017 at 11:36 am #

    This is tempting. I have $20 Sling blue and I would like Science and Animal Planet but no Fire TV support yet. Also does anyone know if this is any three devices anywhere or do they have to be on the same network?

    • Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm #

      Yep, one of the reasons I don’t have blue is Discovery. I doubt they have to be on the same network because there is no home location needed. Need Fire tv support as well.

  18. Robert Anthony Hartzell November 14, 2017 at 11:45 am #

    No Fox, Disney, Hallmark or Turner is a lot. I get why some of them are not there (no sports), but I can’t see this thing getting subscription numbers like Sling or DTVN, even with the attractive price.

    • MVO November 14, 2017 at 11:59 am #

      or ElRey… 🙁

    • Dean G November 14, 2017 at 12:20 pm #

      I have playstation vue and DTVN. The reason I have DTVN is because of Hallmark. But I’m willing to forgo that, keep my playstation vue getting locals plus some other channels, add this in and get way more channels for still less than I would with cable. The only thing this is missing is Hallmark. I don’t have kids so could careless about Disney. IMO, this service is great to combine with the lowest tier of any service. You get more channels than they are going to offer you through any of the services. I won’t even get into the fact that DTVN has some serious buffering issues and their support is abysmal.

      • Malignar November 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

        I’m thinking of going Youtube TV for the sports mostly and this service all non sports. We will see how it goes.

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:35 pm #

      Disney like they always do is going to do their own thing. Most Turner channels have nothing to do with sports. Honestly when I think TNT or TBS even I do not think “Oh yeah the same as ESPN” Um no. I think re-runs of NCIS. I certainly do not sports when I think of Cartoon Network or Adult Swim.

    • CordCutting2017 November 16, 2017 at 12:25 am #

      You might be surprised by the numbers as they start advertising the bulk of channels people do watch in their preferred package that costs a household about $100/mo currently to achieve these ~40 channels. Once the word gets out this + netflix/hulu/etc. would be a significant savings.

      This doesn’t work for sports nuts, news junkies, or those needing touchy feely networks.

  19. Hal Grimley November 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm #

    Um, that’s the Logo channel, not Lego, though a Lego channel would be pretty cool!

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      So would an Eggo channel

      • SS November 14, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

        EGGOS!!!!

  20. SS November 14, 2017 at 12:06 pm #

    Does anyone know if the Android version works on NVIDIA SHIELD version of Chrome?

  21. NapMan November 14, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    Does anyone know if we can use the Philo credentials to sign into the various network apps?

    • Unique_Username99 November 14, 2017 at 12:39 pm #

      Nope not yet

    • James Reyome November 17, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

      You really shouldn’t need the apps unless you’re really bingeing…they’ve already got a lot on demand.

      • NapMan November 18, 2017 at 10:10 am #

        I signed up with the free trial (I recently cancelled my PS Vue account). I checked out the on demand for Walking Dead. It shows the episodes to be available on Thursdays, when TWD airs on Sundays. Is that correct? I’d have to wait 4 days??

  22. JGaLaXY November 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

    very interesting but im stuck with antenna problems and local problems, i need streaming locals only service lol

    • Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 4:12 pm #

      Did you try your local cable company. When I had Brighthouse, they had locals for $10 + $4 broadcast fee.

      • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 9:11 pm #

        pretty much what I’m paying cable company, Mediacom is $10 + $8 broadcast fee for tv + what I pay for internet, only real reason being is to avoid a $15 surcharge for being an internet only customer and having $15 thrown away for nothing really……

        • Nathan John Ganiere November 14, 2017 at 9:14 pm #

          surprisingly there is no cable box equipment fee either

  23. tweech1999 November 14, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    This is so close to what I’m looking for. If I could swap some of those channels with a few others, and it would be PERFECT!

  24. Fred Koot November 14, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    Works on FIre tablet through the silk browser

  25. John November 14, 2017 at 5:54 pm #

    Over-all so far I’m pleased with it. Nice line up of channels, even tho thee’s a small handful I’d really love on there. Would really like to see USA, Cartoon Network, Disney (Maybe one day but I figure Disney will only show up if Philo agrees to take ESPN channels also.). Wouldn’t mind local channels even if only on-demand, but I’m fine for now without them.

    Love the fact it has a good Cloud DVR that is FREE. Plus, you can fast forward through commercials.

    So far everything has been great. The picture looks good, sound is good, no buffering, etc. Just wonder how it all will be once more and more people jump on.

    So, $16 for around 35 channels, $4 more for some extra channels, I do feel is very well worth it!

    • Vegas Steve November 14, 2017 at 11:55 pm #

      Yeah, kinda surprised there’s no USA.

      • CordCutting2017 November 16, 2017 at 12:17 am #

        USA is owned by NBC/Comcast.

        • Vegas Steve November 16, 2017 at 5:43 am #

          Ah, I see, thanks.

  26. Garry November 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

    I have a list with network usage cost for each channel. ESPN is $7.86. Most other sports around $1.40. Get rid of ESPN, problem solved. They think they are so valuable and important, let them go it alone.

    • Mike Thaler November 15, 2017 at 8:08 am #

      Where can we find that list of cost per channel?

  27. John Burgess November 14, 2017 at 9:28 pm #

    this may work. sling blue (NFL network) and Philo ( discovery and Animal Planet). For $45/month. Have PSvue and paying $55 and not getting ANY locals. Only one i miss is chiller, though.

    • James Reyome November 17, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

      This is right along my way of thinking. $39.99 for Hulu Live and $16 for Philo to fill in the blanks (ie, Discovery.) Antenna for locals. And Philo is SLICK, fast, and well implemented. All it really lacks is a grid and at this speed it can do without.

  28. George Sunday November 15, 2017 at 2:30 am #

    It’s great from what I can see so far, but it doesn’t have a guide on Roku so I’m not switching from Sling until that happens. It’s really that important to have. I prefer text based guides. Large graphic images of what’s available live may work for the younger set, but I find them annoying and difficult to read quickly, not to mention you can’t see what’s coming up.

    • halflifecrysis November 16, 2017 at 8:49 pm #

      Please reach out and chat with them and voice that opinion! On PC a chat logo should appear bottom right. https://help.philo.com/hc/en-us

  29. Peggy November 17, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    Sling does have a guide & a what’s on now screen