T-Mobile’s upcoming wireless TV service got a major boost today, as the so-called “Un-Carrier” inked television heavyweight Viacom to a content deal.
As a result of the deal, T-Mobile’s TV offering will include a variety of live and on-demand programming from Viacom brands such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount and others. Viacom is T-Mobile’s first content partner for the new “over-the-top” TV service, which aims to disrupt the television industry the way the company has shaken up the wireless business.
“Viacom represents the best of the best, most-popular brands on cable, so they are an amazing partner for us!” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS. And Macgyvering together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better. That’s why T-Mobile is on a mission to give consumers a better way to watch what they want, when they want.”
T-Mobile’s TV offering is years in the making and dates back to a 2017 acquisition of Denver-based Layer3 TV for $325 million. The original plan was to launch the service in 2018, but now the company is saying it will deliver “compelling new mobile video services to consumers later this year,” according to today’s press release on the Viacom deal.
Leading the TV initiative is Jeff Binder, CEO of Layer3 and now an executive vice president at T-Mobile. He is joined by close to 200 others from Layer3, including former executives from AT&T, Fox, Comcast, Time Warner and more.
T-Mobile’s TV service will launch first with an in-home TV option, that the company says will aim to replace cable for the 5G era. Longer term, T-Mobile will introduce mobile TV services with Viacom as a key launch partner.