Vidgo expands partnership with Cinedigm, explores new original programming

Vidgo has expanded its partnership with Cinedigm to offer thousands of new titles to subscribers of the streaming cable television alternative.

The deal builds on an agreement announced last September that saw Vidgo become the first virtual multi-video programming distributor (vMVPD) to offer Cinedigm's Cineverse ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) product.

The initial deal with Cinedigm saw Vidgo distribute around 30,000 movies, television shows and documentaries through the streaming service's app for phones, tablets and television sets, a spokesperson for Vidgo told Fierce Video on Wednesday. Under the expanded deal, more than 16,000 additional Cinedigm titles are being incorporated into Vidgo.

"Our focus is to deliver an unbeatable value to our customers, while providing the content that excites audiences the most – whether it’s a major sporting event or the next Blockbuster hit," Derek Mattsson, Vidgo's CEO, said in a statement. "Cinedigm is an ideal partner to help us achieve this goal. With more than 10,000 new titles, Vidgo can now offer even more of the programming our audiences love and crave, for the best value in the streaming industry."

In a phone interview from Northern California on Wednesday, Mattsson told Fierce Video that the company continues to explore ways to add value to its streaming service, which already offers between 100 and 200 live channels of general entertainment, news, and professional and college sports programming.

Last year, Vidgo announced a deal that saw former Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly produce an exclusive program for the service called "Shock & Awe," which offers O'Reilly's perspective on current events interspersed with newsmaker interviews. Vidgo also distributes O'Reilly's other program, "No Spin News," on-demand and through the streaming channel The First.

Mattsson told Fierce Video the company is looking at ways to expand its output of original content. Vidgo is currently holding discussions with third parties about producing and licensing original content; Mattsson declined to provide specifics on those talks.

Like other services, Vidgo has sought to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. Last year, the company reorganized its strategy around programming that appeals to so-called "flyover states," reaching the heartland of the country with right-of-center cable news and college sports programming that can be difficult to find on other streaming services.

Mattsson said that strategy has been successful so far, with the company's own data showing customers are consuming channels like the Longhorn Network and Newsmax about as much as they do top-tier general entertainment cable channels.

The cost of licensing those channels has started to catch up with Vidgo as the company explores ways to turn a profit. In early February, a Vidgo executive confirmed to Fierce Video that the company recently implemented a small price increase on new customers, bringing the cost of their base English-language package to $65 a month. Existing customers who locked in the base package at $60 a month weren't affected by the rate increase, the executive said.

The new price of Vidgo's base programming package puts it on par with Google's YouTube TV, which also offers a mixture of entertainment, news and sports channels, but still below what DirecTV Stream and Fubo TV charge for similar programming.