Earlier today T-Mobile CEO John Legere teased he had some big news to reveal and now the cat is out of the bag. The wireless carrier is acquiring Layer3 TV, Inc. and will use the new partnership to launch their own TV service in 2018. Legere says T-Mobile wants to bring the same Un-carrier type disruption that changed the wireless carrier industry to the market for TV providers.
In his announcement Legere says the TV industry, specifically cable and satellite providers, is America’s #1 most hated industry with 8 out of the 10 lowest rated brands in customer satisfaction scores coming from that industry. Legere likens the situation to the wireless carrier market of a few years ago before T-Mobile launched their Un-carrier strategy. Legere points to similar business practices like the use of multi-year contracts, unpopular bundles, and high prices as plaguing the TV provider market.
T-Mobile’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert says,
“we’re in the midst of the Golden Age of TV, and yet people have never been more frustrated by the status quo created by Big Cable and Satellite TV. That’s because the world is changing – with mobile video, streaming services, cord cutting, original content and more — and yet, the old guard simply can’t – or won’t – evolve. It’s time for a disruptor to shake things up and give people real choice like only the Un-carrier can.”
T-Mobile points out that they have been a leader in mobile video options for their customers starting with the Binge On service that gave consumers the ability to stream as much video content as they wanted. That transformed into T-Mobile ONE and more recently T-Mobile is providing a free Netflix subscription with their plans.
T-Mobile says Layer3 TV will bring a similar “disruptor” mindset to the Un-carrier strategy as it branches out into the TV provider market. They also point to Layer3 TV’s technology partnering with T-Mobile’s nationwide retail presence, branding, sales and customer service organizations as key components for success.
The Layer3 TV acquisition is expected to be completed within a few weeks. Financial details were not provided in T-Mobile’s announcement, but may be forthcoming.