As new streaming TV services launch, they try to stand out from those already established. Two such services, Philo and AT&T Watch are hoping the non-sports fan will be interested in their products. Both will cost $15-16/month for their respective basic bundles, but the kick is, neither service will offer sports. And in the case of Philo, they will have no local channels.
Philo was announced formally last month and details about AT&T Watch were suddenly unveiled during the Justice Department’s trial against AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner.
The announcement in the courtroom by AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson caught so many by surprise that the company’s PR department was not prepared with a statement.
As for Philo, it will launch its service on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV later this year. Its base package of 37 channels includes A&E networks (History, Lifetime), Scripps (Food Network), Discovery and Viacom (Comedy Central, Paramount) networks. A 46 channel package will add American Heroes Channel, BET Her, Cooking Channel and others. As previously mentioned, there won’t be any sports networks like ESPN, Fox or NBC. And noticeably, none of their parent networks, Disney, Fox or NBCUniversal are part of Philo.
AT&T Watch will have Turner networks and could possibly include HBO. It’s expected to launch once the deal with Time Warner closes. Watch will be offered free to AT&T Wireless customers.
The key here is that these bundles will cost at least $20 less than other streaming services like DirecTV Now, which is $35/month and YouTube TV, which costs $40/month and offers sports with local channels.
As for Philo and AT&T Watch, if they can make a dent in a very crowded streaming landscape without offering sports, they will make TV networks stand up and notice.