If you’re in the market to cut the cord and get a cheap, reliable internet TV service, you may be considering an option like Philo. At just $20/month for 58+ channels, Philo’s offering is good for those on a budget. However local channels are important, and with Philo, local channels are a bit of a disappointment. Let’s explore what you’ll find with Philo and local channel availability.
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What Philo Local Channels Are Available?
The answer here is simple, yet disappointing: There are none.
Philo does not offer any local channels at all for its subscribers. As a potential Philo customer, that may be leaving you scratching your head, but there’s a good reason why Philo takes this approach.
Local channels are costly to offer
Philo’s whole approach to internet TV is to offer the cheapest TV package possible. Philo made a name for itself because it does not offer any sports channels, such as ESPN or FOX Sports.
Sports channels have particularly expensive broadcast rights, so in order to maintain a lower-cost package, Philo only offers only entertainment channels, such as History Channel, Discovery Channel, and Science Channel, across two channel packages:
7-day free trial
Starz and Epix add-ons
3 simultaneous streams
The same, unfortunately, is true of local broadcast networks like FOX, NBC, ABC, and CBS. While these networks have carriage rights that are cheaper than sports cable channels, they’re still more expensive than what fits with Philo’s goals. As such, Philo offers no local channels either to keep its costs low.
Pair Philo with a Digital Over-the-Air (OTA) Antenna
Philo subscribers may want to pair the low-cost streaming service with a digital over-the-air (OTA) antenna. An OTA antenna can be purchased for a low cost and will allow you to receive digital OTA broadcasts from every major network. What’s more, there’s no subscription fee; all you pay is the cost of the OTA antenna, and if you choose, a digital OTA DVR that will allow you to record your live shows.
OTA antennas vary in price, with more expensive options designed to pick up a larger number of channels. Meanwhile, several OTA DVRs are available, including Tablo, which is a popular option among cord-cutters.
The number of local broadcast channels you can get in your area through an OTA will vary, but most US residents will be able to get the most popular networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, The CW, MeTV, MyNetworkTV, PBS, and Telemundo). A large handful of other regional OTA networks may be available to you as well.
Are There Philo Alternatives Offering Local Channels?
Among the growing number of internet TV services, only two popular options offer low-cost packages with no local broadcast networks at all: Philo, and AT&T WatchTV. Most others provide a mixture of local channels.
We recommend you use our Cord Cutter Express tool, which lets you input the local channels and cable channels you most want. It will then display a comparison of internet TV services based on your specific criteria, helping you more easily decide which service is best for you.
Other Great Streaming Services
Philo’s lack of local channels might make it less-than-ideal for some. Why not pair it with Hulu+Live TV, which offers a great list of local channels, or ESPN+ for a greater selection of live sports? You may also want to add in the exclusive and growing library that comes with Disney+, including its on-going hit The Mandalorian, which is only available on Disney+.