Philo adds two new channels, won’t raise $20 a month price

The logo of Internet cable TV alternative Philo. (Image: Philo/Graphic, The Desk)

Wallet-friendly streaming television service Philo announced the addition of two new channels on Tuesday while pledging to keep its base subscription price the same for new and current customers.

Newsy, a 24-hour streaming news channel operated by the E.W. Scripps Company, and A+E Network’s Crime & Investigation have been added to Philo’s lineup of over 60 top-tier pay television networks, the company announced in a press release sent to reporters.

Newsy becomes just the third pay TV news network to be added to Philo’s lineup. The service already carried BBC World News under an agreement with AMC Networks and Cheddar News & Business from Altice USA.

Crime & Investigation helps round out Philo’s A+E Networks offering; the service already carries namesake channel A&E as well as History Channel, FYI, TLC, Lifetime and Vice TV. A+E Networks is owned by the Walt Disney Company and Hearst Television.

Unlike rival streaming TV services who have added channels while raising prices, Philo says the new channels are being offered to new and current subscribers without a fee increase, meaning the channels will join 61 other networks offered by Philo for $20 a month.

It is the second time this year Philo has added channels without raising prices: In July, the company began distributing TV One from Urban One Media after previously agreeing to carry sister-network Cleo TV.

The streaming service specializes in carrying entertainment, lifestyle and knowledge-based pay TV networks — the same channels distributed on traditional cable and satellite systems — while opting not to carry channels distributed in packages that are bundled with costlier cable news and sports channels.

Philo’s major programming partners  — A+E Networks, AMC Networks, ViacomCBS and Discovery Networks — are also investor-owners in the company. In August, an executive with Discovery said Philo had crossed 700,000 subscribers; a Philo spokesperson later told The Desk the company had topped over 750,000 subscribers and was continuing to add subscribers with impressive momentum.

That momentum could accelerate thanks to a new partnership between Philo and brick-and-mortar electronics retailer Best Buy: When people purchase certain streaming TV hardware that either supports or complements Philo, they’re now presented with an option to sign up for the service and are given a 30-day free trial to try it out. Customers can also purchase a Philo subscription from Best Buy without a hardware purchase at a 50 percent discount on the first month of service.