After boldly announcing itself on the nascent virtual MVPD scene at CES 2016, then wandering into the startup wilderness, Vidgo is finally conducting a soft launch.
Now under different ownership and management, the Atlanta-based start-up this week made two skinny tiers of Spanish-language, soccer-rich channels available under pre-paid conditions to users of iOS and Android devices. (The company said apps for Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and Apple TV will debut in the coming weeks.)
The $19.99-a-month “Latino” base tier will feature 25 live-streamed channels, including beIN Sports, Canal Sur, Galavision, TV Azteca, TYC Sports, Univision and Univision Deportes. And the $29.99-a-month “Latino Mas” bundle will add Bandamax, De Pelicula, De Pelicula Clasico, Ecuavisa, Foro TV, Ritmoson, Telehit and TI Novelas.
The pre-paid service requires no credit card or credit checks and is targeted to a first-generation immigrant population acclimated to a cash economy—an audience of millions of consumers, Video CEO Shane Cannon noted, that is underserved in the pay TV market, even by suppliers like Dish Network’s Sling TV, which is rich in international programming choices.
Cannon said the company will add an English-language package later in 2018 if the launch is successful.
Vidgo introduced itself with a more mainstream-focused programming package in 2016, under the direction of Robert Kostensky, a former DirecTV sales and and distribution executive. In fact, a webpage still exist, touting a launch in 12 markets in the summer of 2016, and a national rollout by the end of that year.
But as Vidgo’s debut got delayed, the vMVPD market steadily saturated, with DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and fuboTV joining the ranks. Cannon replaced Kostensky as the lead executive last year, with new backers— described as a top five network—also stepping in.
According to Vidgo’s Crunchbase profile, the company has raised $500,000 in seed funding to date. But Cannon said a new, more sizable funding round is at hand.
Notably, Vidgo is marketing Sunday’s soccer game between Barcelona and Real Madrid, dubbed "El Clasico," which will be broadcast by beIN Sports.