Philo removes Scripps-owned Newsy

Other pay TV platforms are expected to drop the channel by the end of the month.
The streaming television channel Newsy as it appeared during a June 2021 broadcast. (Graphic by The Desk)

Wallet-friendly streaming service Philo has quietly removed the 24-hour digital news channel Newsy from its lineup.

The move comes after Newsy’s operator, the E. W. Scripps Company, announced plans to distribute the channel over digital broadcast television later this year. As part of the conversion, Scripps affirmed last month that it would be removing Newsy from cable and streaming pay television services by the end of June.

Early Thursday morning, a Philo spokesperson confirmed to The Desk that the removal of the channel was related to Scripps’ forthcoming broadcast plans as well as an unspecified technical problem.

“The service was due to be removed as part of Newsy’s industry-wide transition on June 30, but due to ongoing technical difficulties, Philo and Newsy mutually agreed to terminate the service early,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson did not specify the technical issue that led Philo to accelerate its plans to drop the channel. Earlier this week, The Desk observed a problem with Newsy’s feed distributed to Philo as well as a competing streamer.

Scripps operates two variants of Newsy: A version distributed to some free streaming services like Pluto TV that contains an aggregated mixture of news clips, and a linear feed with live morning and evening news shows produced out of Newsy’s studios in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

The linear feed with the live news shows is the version cable and some pay TV streaming services distribute to subscribers. Philo, which has traditionally opted not to carry mainstream news networks, began offering Newsy to customers of its base subscription package last October.

Philo, which costs $25 a month, still offers three other news channels: Financial network Bloomberg, millennial-focused Cheddar and BBC World News.

Newsy’s linear feed is still available on AT&T, Dish Network’s Sling TV, Fuo TV, Verizon Fios, Spectrum and Comcast’s Xfinity, though the channel is expected to be removed from those platforms over the next two weeks.

Some cable services will be able to offer Newsy once again in television markets where a local broadcast station distributes the news channel. Scripps is expected to place Newsy on dozens of its owned-and-operated Ion Media stations around October 1.

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