CES: Vidgo Long on Promises, Short on Details

Add Vidgo to the list of companies that claim that they’ll crack the pay TV code by offering low-cost bundles of broadcast TV channels and VOD via an over-the-top distribution platform.

Vidgo timed its introduction with this week’s CES, promising it will offer “the most channels of live linear TV and video-on-demand, including premium, sports, local and international content” to a range of smart TVs, tablets and smartphones.

Among the other claims, no fees with equipment, no credit checks or contracts, and a plan to launch in 15 U.S. markets in the first half of 2016 and national coverage by Q4 2016. The initial batch of markets will include New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, per Mashable

Vidgo said it will be offered in “three competitively priced packages,” each with multiple simultaneous device streams. Its menu will span premium, sports, local and international content, it says.

So, how much will these packages cost? What channels will be offered? How will it all be delivered? Those details will be released sometime in Q1. In the meantime, consumers can sign up for updates.

Depending on packages it will be able to create, Vidgo will be entering an expanding virtual MVPD market that now includes Sling TV and PlayStation Vue. It’s also an area being pursued by Telletopia Foundation, a nonprofit that plans to offer an OTT streaming service, but succeed where Aereo failed, by factoring in retrans payments. Telletopia’s success also hinges heavily  on an upcoming FCC vote that proposes to define some streaming over-the-top services as MVPDs that are eligible for retrans.

As for what is being shared, former DirecTV exec Robert Kostensky is Vidgo’s president and co-founder, and Shane Cannon, president of Cannon Satellite TV (a Dish Network authorized dealer), is the startup’s chief marketing officer.

“VIDGO combines the best of existing online streaming services with live television and VOD,” Kostensky said in a statement. “VIDGO is the lowest cost solution to deliver the most expansive catalog of live linear television and VOD to all devices and connected televisions.”

Vidgo’s parent company is Gotham Media, which (hint, hint) runs a content delivery network that reaches into many parts of the globe, and develops streaming apps for platforms such as iOS, Android, and Roku. Gotham’s listing of partners include Comcast, Cisco, Internap, Level 3 Communications, Cogent Communications, Samsung, and Apple, among others.