A non-sports skinny bundle is about to become a reality. Discovery, Viacom, AMC, A+E, and Scripp Networks are teaming up to offer an entertainment-focused streaming service that will be void of sports programming.
The Wall Street Journal reported the news about the skinny bundle and said that the new service will have a soft launch in the upcoming weeks with subscriptions priced at less than $20 a month. The lineup of channels featured in the bundle aren’t all drawn out, but WSJ says that the media companies are expecting all their core channels to be part of it. This includes Discovery’s ID, TLC and Animal Planet; Scripps’ HGTV and Food Network; and Viacom’s roster that includes Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and BET. AMC and A+E’s will be featured as well.
This non-sports skinny bundle of nonfiction and lifestyle programming, children’s shows and scripted dramas was the topic of discussion in May, when Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said that U.S. television viewers should be able to access a true skinny bundle costing about $10 a month with no sports. He went on to say that it was just a matter of time before it happened.
Although the $10 price point wasn’t exactly right, Zaslav’s company, as well as Viacom and AMC Networks, have been talking to cable and satellite companies about a possible low-priced offering that would include their channels — but not expensive sports networks such as Disney’s ESPN.
The new service will be powered by a company called Philo, which specializes in streaming TV for college campuses. The service will also be called Philo after Philo Farnsworth, the inventor who developed the first all-electronic television system. It will start out as a direct-to-consumer streaming service, but the goal is to eventually get established pay-TV providers to offer similar packages.