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Streaming TV Startup Vidgo Hints at a la Carte Future

Another player is looking to enter the livestreaming game alongside Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

by Chris Brantner
Jun 16 2016, 11:00am

500 channels and there's nothing on. Image:

Live streaming… it's cord cutting's final frontier. In 2015, Sling TV launched the first ever service to legally stream live cable channels without a contract. At $20 a month for 20+ channels, it was a huge step in making cord cutting seem realistic for the average person. Since then, PlayStation Vue has launched nationwide at a bit higher price point, offering more channels in larger bundles (but on fewer devices).

For more on how to live your life without cable, be sure to check out the Motherboard Guide to Cord Cutting.

Now it looks like third player is serious about getting into the ring. On Wednesday VIDGO announced some major updates about the release of its new live streaming service. And it looks like it's set to go after Sling TV and PlayStation Vue.

"VIDGO is putting 100 percent of its resources toward a best-in-class video stream solution that truly puts the customer in the driver's seat," Shane Cannon, Chief Marketing Officer for VIDGO, told Motherboard. "This is allowing us to develop strong relationships with programmers, and will help us reach and acquire customers who have opted not to subscribe to a traditional, paid TV service."

By "putting customers in the driver's seat" it seems reasonable to assume Cannon is referring to the announcement that VIDGO will let subscribers build their own packages. The question is, what exactly will that look like? Is this the answer to what cord cutters have been clamoring for but no one could pull off—truly a la carte channel selection? Or will it be something more like Sling TV offers with add-on packages?

The "strong relationships with programmers" Cannon mentions is clearly illustrated by the feature that has NFL fans talking: the inclusion of NFL Network. If you're a diehard NFL fan, you can't live without the NFL Network. Up until now, that meant staying in your cable contract. But when VIDGO launches, that will all change.

And it's not just NFL fans who will benefit from VIDGO's programming relationships. Baseball fans have something to look forward to as well, as the service is set to include full access to the MLB Network, making it easier than ever for cord cutters to get their fill of Major League Baseball.

VIDGO will also offer live local stations in select markets. This seems similar to what Sling TV and PlayStation Vue are currently working through, with one noticeable difference: VIDGO lists PBS as one of the locals it could be offering.

It's clear there's a lot to look forward to with the service, but when will it launch? VIDGO first announced they'd be launching their live streaming solution, complete with local channels, back in January at CES 2016. However, after the announcement, there was a long period of radio silence, leading many to wonder if the service would ever actually see the light of day. However, after this new update with some hard details, you'd have to imagine the service will launch soon.