Exclusive: Philo weighs adding Spanish-language package

(Logo: Philo, Graphic designed by The Desk)

Wallet-friendly streaming service Philo is in the preliminary stages of creating a Spanish-language package of streaming networks and content, the company’s chief executive recently confirmed to The Desk.

The comments were made in a wide-ranging interview with Philo’s chief executive Andrew McCollum last month. The bulk of the interview is scheduled to be published on The Desk later this week.

“[Spanish-language content is] on the short list of an add-on package that we want to bring to market,” McCollum confirmed.

Philo currently offers more than 60 premium cable networks and thousands of hours of on-demand content delivered over the Internet for $25 a month. The company counts ViacomCBS, AMC Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Communications among its primary content providers; those four companies are also investor-owners of the service.

Some of those programmers, including Discovery, offer linear Spanish language networks to pay TV companies, while others (notably, ViacomCBS) have been quietly amassing a large content library of Spanish-language TV shows and movies geared toward a streaming audience (as of late, ViacomCBS has been placing many of those acquired shows and movies on its own, free streaming service, Pluto TV).

Philo’s consideration of Spanish-language content seems like a natural next step as the company continues to explore ways to offer more programming to its users: Spanish-language content has mostly been relegated to on-demand streaming services like Netflix and Fox Corporation’s Tubi TV. Few cable-like streaming services have waded into the waters of offering linear Spanish-language TV networks (Fubo TV and Dish Network’s Sling TV offer a handful; Google-owned YouTube TV offers less than six).

McCollum confirmed that Philo‘s existing carriage agreements with its partner programmers gives it the “ability to offer some Spanish-language networks,” but said the company is still trying to figure out the best way to deliver those channels and that content to its users.

“We want to make sure that when we create that offering that it meets the bar of being a good value and having enough content that it will be compelling to people,” he said. “But, certainly, we’re still quite excited to bring it to market.”


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