Philo inks deal with Epix, Starz to provide first add-ons for budget streaming service

Philo has signed a deal with Lionsgate and MGM Studios to bring two premium movie networks to its budget streaming service as add-on packages.

Customers of the streaming service are now able to add Epix (owned by MGM Studios) and Starz (owned by Lionsgate) at a separate fee of $6 a month and $9 a month respectively, though new and current customers can sign up for a special discounted rate that cuts the monthly price for each service in half for three months.

It is the first time Philo has offered premium movie packages to its customers since the service launched several years ago.

Aimed primarily at cord-cutters, Philo offers around five dozen cable channels from MTV Networks (ViacomCBS), A+E Networks, AMC Networks and Discovery Networks for $20 a month.

The service is able to keep costs low by making deals with television programmers that don’t bundle general entertainment channels with pricier news and sports offerings.

One matter that may complicate things in the future is the merger between Viacom and CBS Corporation that was finalized last December. The deal brought CBS and Showtime into the mix with Viacom’s MTV Networks. An executive told The Desk last year that the deal isn’t expected to impact Philo anytime soon because of long-term contractual arrangements with Viacom that pre-dated the merger.