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Philo (formerly Tivli)[2] is an internet television company currently based in San Francisco, California. The service first launched at Harvard University in 2009. Investors in the company include HBO, Facebook co-founder Andrew McCollum, and Mark Cuban. As of January 2018, the service has approximately 50,000 subscribers.[3]

Philo logo.svg
Founded2009 (2009)
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Nick Krasney
  • Tuan Ho
Key peopleAndrew McCollum (CEO)
IndustryPay television
ServicesOTT Internet TV MVPD

Philo plans to integrate a social platform that connects viewers with friends and family to discover new content, share favorite shows, and watch shows together.


Tivli, Philo's original name, was founded in 2009 by then Harvard seniors Nicholas Krasney and Tuan Ho. It began as an experiment using aluminium foil as a makeshift satellite dish in order to "pick up TV signals and deliver them wirelessly to their laptops via a jerry-rigged server".[4] At its launch, the project was intended to be a way to circumvent the fact that Harvard did not provide cable TV service for its students. When the service was made available to others in 2011, half of the Harvard resident population registered for it within the first few weeks of the offer.[5]

In 2009, Tivli first incubated in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the Harvard Innovation Lab (iLab) before moving to Harvard Square in 2013. After securing their Series B round, Philo moved again in 2015 to San Francisco, California.[6]

In July 2013, the venture raised a $6.3 million round led by Patrick Chung at venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates. Among the Series A investors, were Mark Cuban from Radical Investments LP, HBO, and Rho Ventures.[7][8] The same year the company was rebranded as Philo, from its former name, Tivli.[9][10]

In June 2015, Philo raised $10 million in a Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates, with joint investment from HBO, Rho Ventures, Xfund, CBC New Media Group, as well as Andrew McCollum.[11] McCollum, a founding member of Facebook, became CEO of the company in 2014.[12][13] As of September 2015, the service was available in 42 universities.[14]

On November 14, 2017, Philo launched a new OTT streaming television service in the U.S. The service is available via TVs, computers, tablets, and phones.[1][15] Philo includes channels from programming groups that include A&E Networks, AMC Networks, Discovery Inc. and Viacom, but not CBS Corporation, Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company or WarnerMedia, and therefore includes no local or sports channels. Those programming groups also became owners with a combine $25 million investment before this launch.[1]

This service does not have any of the major news channels, as they are affiliated with local and sports channels which are the most expensive channels. Instead, the service offers BBC World News, which is distributed by AMC, and the independent digital first financial news channel, Cheddar.[16]

In October 2018, Philo added Hallmark Channel and its sister channels Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Hallmark Drama.[17]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c Silverman, Alex (November 14, 2017). "Programmers Ante Up for Philo Entertainment-Only Bundle". Cablefax. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  2. ^ Roettgers, Janko (September 20, 2013). "Meet the newest cord cutters: college campuses". Gigaom. Retrieved December 28, 2016.
  3. ^ "Virtual MVPDs Ended 2017 with 5.3M Subs: Study". Multichannel News. NewBay Media. February 12, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018.
  4. ^ "Company Profile: Philo". Fast Company. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  5. ^ "Start-Up Puts Streaming TV on Campus". The New York Times. 27 January 2013.
  6. ^ "TV startup led by Facebook co-founder to move to San Francisco". Boston Business Journal. 15 June 2015.
  7. ^ Moore, Galen. "Tonight on Campus TV: Comcast Vs. Mark Cuban, HBO and a Startup Called Philo". BostInno. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  8. ^ Robbins, Max. "If Facebook and Hulu had a Baby it Would Look Like Philo". Forbes. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  9. ^ "On-Campus Streaming TV Provider Tivli Rebrands as Philo, Adds Cloud DVR". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  10. ^ "Tivli renamed Philo, adds DVR service". Boston Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  11. ^ Bookman, Samantha. "Philo leads traditional TV toward campus cord-cutters, and maybe OTT's future". Fierce Cable. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Facebook founding member named CEO of Internet TV startup Philo". Boston Business Journal. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Philo Raises $10 Million From NEA, HBO & Others For Its On-Campus Internet TV Service". Tech Crunch. 15 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Philo Tunes in More Than 40 Universities | Multichannel". Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  15. ^ Lombardo, Cara (2017-11-14). "Streaming Service Tests Appetite for Low-Cost TV Without Sports". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-11-14.
  16. ^ Silverman, Alex (November 15, 2017). "Philo Fills News Void with Fee-Free Upstart Cheddar". Cablefax. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  17. ^ Philo Adds Hallmark, Hallmark Drama, & Hallmark Movies & Mysteries - The Stremable, 25 October 2018
  18. ^ "Most Innovative Companies of 2014". Fast Company. Retrieved 13 December 2016.

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