For months now one of the most anticipated streaming services has been the new live TV service from T-Mobile. Since the service was first announced, T-Mobile has promised to release it by the end of 2018. Later it was reported by Bloomberg that T-Mobile TV is delayed until 2019.
Now during T-Mobile’s earnings call COO Mike Sievert said T-Mobile TV plans to launch their home version in the first half of 2019. This will be the home version that sounds like just a rebranded version of Layer3TV. In support of this idea, Mike Sievert went on to say that T-Mobile plans to launch a “redefined and rebranded product to many, many more places across the country in the first half of this year.”
The product many cord cutters are hoping for is a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV or Sling TV. Now T-Mobile did say that they still plan to launch the mobile version of their TV service but at a later date.
T-Mobile has stated that they are struggling to get the type of deals they wanted. According to recent regulatory filings, Layer3 is having to pay between 20 and 30 percent more in fees than their larger rivals. To create the same packages that Sling TV or Hulu have, T-Mobile would have to charge about $10 more.
Here is what T-Mobile said in their regulatory documents:
The acquisition of Layer3 provided T-Mobile with a foothold in the video distribution marketplace, while positioning the company to leverage its national distribution footprint for expansion of the business going forward. However, further expansion of the business will be limited for T-Mobile on a standalone basis. In particular, Layer3 faces higher costs, especially for licensing content, than its major MVPD rivals because its smaller customer base does not provide the scale needed to leverage volume discounts. Indeed, T-Mobile estimates that Layer3’s content acquisition costs are 20–30 percent higher than its larger rivals for accessing the same programming.
For now, we will have to wait and see what T-Mobile does next.
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