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Philo is a sports-free TV bundle for just $16 per month

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Philo, a new streaming bundle that launches today, provides hard evidence of how far your TV budget can go without sports.

For $16 per month, Philo provides 35 cable channels from AMC, A&E, Discovery, Scripps, and Viacom, along with the cable channel AXS TV and the digital-only channel Cheddar. Another nine channels are available for $4 per month more. Philo is the least-expensive streaming TV bundle to date, with only Sling TV’s $20 per month Orange package coming close. Other bundles, including YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now, start in the $35- to $40-per-month range.

The big trade-off is that Philo doesn’t include any networks that broadcast sports on any of their channels. So while there’s plenty of non-sports content on channels like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, Philo doesn’t offer any of those channels. (Check the bottom of this story for the full Philo channel list.)

philoshowpage Philo

Philo includes some popular cable channels such as AMC and HGTV, but none that offer live sports.

“It’s mainly to try to offer a much better value to the consumer,” Philo CEO Andrew McCollum says of the decision to leave out networks that carry sports. “There are a lot of people who aren’t really interested in live sports, and right now there’s not really an option out there for you to get a package of entertainment content without paying a huge premium for that sports content.”

Why this matters: Despite the missing pieces, Philo could be a compelling option for cord cutters, especially those who can still get broadcast shows through an antenna, or don’t mind tacking on another streaming service that includes network shows, such as Hulu or CBS All Access. We’ll be reviewing Philo’s performance and features shortly, but for now, the price looks right.

Philo: Details and channel list

If you’ve tried any other streaming bundles, you probably know the drill here: Beyond just live channel feeds, Philo offers an assortment of on-demand videos from each network, and most channels let you watch anything that’s aired in the past three days. (It looks like Viacom channels don’t support this, with the exception of Nick Jr., and some individual programs may not support replay either.)

philoguide Philo

Philo offers a cable-like grid guide, though the axes are flipped.

Philo also offers a cloud DVR at no extra charge. Recordings have a shelf life of 30 days from the original air date, but there are no limits on storage space or simultaneous recordings.

During an interview, Philo also demonstrated some interesting (and optional) social networking features that will arrive in early 2018. By importing a friends list from Facebook, users can see what their friends are watching, share favorite shows, and even sync up a video to watch at the same time as a friend.

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