T-Mobile Goes After Cable, Will Launch TV Service in 2018

 

Details are scant, but T-Mobile next year will introduce a service that will compete with the likes of Sling TV, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now.

 

T-Mobile is jumping into the TV space with the acquisition of Layer3 TV, a Denver-based firm that describes itself as a “next generation cable provider.”

Details are scant, but T-Mobile next year will introduce a service that will compete with the likes of Sling TV, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now. “Get ready to cut the cord,” T-Mobile says.

Layer3 TV currently operates in five US cities; T-Mobile said its TV service will “take full advantage of T-Mobile’s nationwide retail presence, top-rated brand and award-winning sales and customer care organizations.”

“Today’s legacy TV model is utterly broken,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a video announcement. “And it looks a helluva lot like wireless from a few years ago.”

During a conference call with reporters, T-Mobile and Layer3 execs mentioned services like YouTube TV, but reserved most of their fire for its chief rival AT&T, which acquired DirecTV in 2014, and launched DirecTV Now last year. They scoffed at the notion of adding a satellite dish to homes as well as locking customers into contracts and content bundles.

Pricing for T-Mobile’s service was not revealed. DirecTV Now starts at $35 per month for 60+ channels, and goes up to $70 per month for 120+ channels.

“Requiring a landline just to get a better price on cable? It’s complete bullshit,” according to Legere, who said T-Mobile’s solution will be “TV you’ll be able to watch on every connected device you have, wherever you are.”

T-Mobile does not envision jumping into the original content space. If anything, there is too much content at the time, execs said, so the bigger issue is access and discovery, which T-Mobile’s TV service aims to solve.