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Philo to remove AXS, HDNet Movies by end of month

Streaming cable TV alternative Philo will remove two general entertainment channels on July 31.

The affected channels are AXS TV, a music and pop-culture themed channel, and HDNet Movies, which was relegated to Philo’s “Movies & More” premium add-on package.

When the channels are removed from Philo, streamers will also lose access to shows and movies that were saved in their cloud DVR libraries, the company warned in a note to customers.

“We strive to give our customers the best possible experience and will keep you in the loop on any upcoming changes to our channel lineup,” a spokesperson for Philo wrote in the email, according to a copy reviewed by The Desk.

The two channels are majority-owned by Anthem Sports & Entertainment, with Anschutz Entertainment Group and tech entrepreneur Mark Cuban holding minority investments in the networks.

Philo is known for carrying general entertainment and lifestyle networks from programmers that do not hard-bundle them with more-expensive mainstream news and sports channels. The strategy helps keep costs low for Philo, which allows them to charge streamers far less than what a typical cable or satellite bundle costs.

While rare, Philo has been forced to pull some channels in the past due to shifting strategies by some of its programming partners.

Two years ago, Philo dropped Newsy after the channel’s parent, the E. W. Scripps Company, announced it would relaunch into a free, ad-supported broadcast and streaming network. The channel is now called Scripps News.

Last October, Philo customers lost access to recorded content from MGM HD after the channel stopped broadcasting. This April, Philo removed a live feed of Bloomberg Television, with a spokesperson citing “situations outside of our control.”

Philo still offers a number of top-tier entertainment, lifestyle and knowledge channels — more than 80 of them — from programmers like AMC Networks, A+E Networks, the Discovery side of Warner Bros Discovery and the MTV portfolio of channels owned by Paramount Global. (All four companies are investor-owners in the streaming service.)

The channels are available for $25 a month, which also unlocks a growing slate of streaming-only channels from Cineverse, Vevo and others. Philo also offers content from Starz and Epix for separate monthly fees.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).