Editorial: T-Mobile Has a Hard Road Ahead of Them to “Disrupt” Traditional TV




Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screen

Authentic scrambled reception on a TV screenThis week T-Mobile announced plans to take on traditional pay-TV services such as cable and satellite TV. We hope they are successful, but they face a hard road to pull off their plans.

T-Mobile wants to “disrupt” the current pay-TV market; however, they are not the first to try this. Both Apple and Amazon in the last few years have tried to disrupt traditional pay TV and both have walked away after failing to secure the needed deals.

The problem with disrupting pay TV is the fact that the content owners have no incentive to disrupt the model that is still extremely profitable. According to all reports both Amazon and Apple failed to strike deals that would allow them to do what they wanted at a price they thought would be competitive.

Yet T-Mobile has a few advantages over Amazon and Apple:

First, T-Mobile is buying an existing TV company called Layer-3. Layer-3 is more like a traditional pay-TV service than a live TV streaming service such as Sling TV, and that will give T-Mobile a base to build off of.

T-Mobile is also trying at a time that pay-TV providers seem to be more willing to look at new ideas. A few years ago Sling TV was only just starting to be rolled out and most content owners were unwilling to work with live TV streaming services.

Now most pay-TV providers are more willing to look at unusual options such as Philo. Yet even a service such as Philo is not exactly what many consumers are looking for.

Will T-Mobile be successful in their efforts to “disrupt” TV?

It is possible that T-Mobile will be able to disrupt pay TV, but it will not be easy. With that said, it is exciting to see a new major player jumping into live TV with the goal of disrupting it.

What will help T-Mobile be successful in disrupting TV?

If you want T-Mobile to be successful in their plans the best thing that can happen is for cord cutting to grow. If content owners see their subscriber numbers continue to fall that will make them far more likely to work with companies such as T-Mobile, Apple, and Amazon.

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