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Frndly TV to offer some local independent TV channels

Most of the stations are owned by the E. W. Scripps Company and offer syndicated programming.

Most of the stations are owned by the E. W. Scripps Company and offer syndicated programming.

Frndly TV will offer a handful of independent local TV stations as part of its streaming service.
Frndly TV will offer a handful of independent local TV stations as part of its streaming service. (Courtesy photo)

Frndly TV is adding a handful of local broadcast television stations to its budget-friendly streaming service, the company announced this week.

The stations include five broadcast outlets operated by the E. W. Scripps Company and one station owned by Marantha Broadcasting. Some of the stations offer local news programming, and none of them are affiliated with a major broadcast network.

Philadelphia and Denver are the two largest metropolitan areas where Frndly TV subscribers will receive access to a local television station through the service, while customers in four other markets — Detroit, Kansas City, Green Bay and West Palm Beach — will also see a new channel appear by the end of the month.

The six stations being added to Frndly TV are:

  • KDCO (Channel 3) in Denver
  • KMCI (Channel 38) in Kansas City
  • WACY (Channel 32) in Green Bay
  • WHDT (Channel 9) in West Palm Beach
  • WMYD (Channel 20, CW Network) in Detroit
  • WFMZ (Channel 69) in Philadelphia

Subscribers will receive access to a local channel based on their location. None of the channels will be offered beyond a home area.

The channels join Frndly TV’s line-up of general entertainment and lifestyle programming, including networks offered by Scripps (Laff, Ion, Grit), Weigel Broadcasting (Me TV, Heroes & Icons, Start TV, Movies!), A+E Networks (A&E, History Channel, Lifetime) and others.

Frndly TV manages to keep the cost of its service relatively low — plans start at $8 per month, after a 7-day free trial — by not offering bundles of channels that include cable news and sports networks, which are more expensive to carry and typically include marathon-filled channels that few customers care to watch.

Instead, Frndly TV is targeted at streamers who want an affordable bundle of lifestyle and knowledge channels, and who are comfortable receiving most of their local news and sports programming from major networks via an antenna or through other means.

The addition of the six local channels suggest Frndly TV is open to carrying non-network broadcast stations when it makes financial sense to do so. Typically, independent stations cost very little for a pay television provider to offer, and some are willing to forego carriage fees in exchange for distribution on a pay TV platform in order to reach a bigger audience.

“As cord cutting continues to accelerate across the country, we at Frndly TV are proud to be able to help support the local broadcast industry, and in particular, the important public service of delivering local news, by bringing back homes and viewers into the television ecosystem,” Michael McKenna, the co-founder and Chief Programming Officer at Frndly TV, said in a statement.

McKenna continued: “his is a significant milestone for Frndly TV.  As we built out Frndly TV and added more national channels, the one thing missing was providing our customers with the local programming they want and care about – especially local news and popular syndicated content.  With the addition of these local stations in each market, we are delivering to our customers news and entertainment they want at a price they can afford.”

Frndly TV cited research from Parks Associates that showed the service had a high net promoter score, or NPS, when evaluated against comparable streaming cable TV replacements in the country. NPS scores are used by businesses to evaluate customer satisfaction, including the likelihood that a customer will refer their business to others.

Frndly TV offers the same channels across three different plans, each of which comes with a unique set of features.

Frndly TV Basic allows streamers to watch live and on-demand programming in standard definition from one device at a time, and costs $8 per month. Frndly TV Classic bumps up the number of simultaneous streams to two devices at once, and includes high-definition content streams and a cloud DVR that stores programs for at least three months, all at a cost of $9 per month. A premium tier includes the same features as Frndly TV Classic, but bumps up DVR storage to 9 months and increases the number of simultaneous streams to four, priced at $12 per month.

Frndly TV also offers annual plans, which saves customers over 20 percent off the cost of a subscription when compared to monthly prices. The service offers a 7-day free trial to new customers who sign up for service by clicking or tapping this link.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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