T-Mobile is trying to get into the live TV streaming fight in a big way this year. The cell-phone provider is rebranding the TVision offering that has been on since 2019 as a cord cutting solution vs the more traditional cable package that it has been up till now. The service will be available on Apple TV, IOS and Android TV, and offers multiple tiers of programming for T-Mobile customers including a true skinny bundle of 30 channels including 30 channels including AMC, BET, Comedy Central, Food Network, MTV and Nickelodeon. Like other discounted bundles the offering does not include sports and 24-hour news packages. But that package called “Vibe” is just one of 4 different packages marketed by T-Mobile. Here is how they break down.
The service is much in the same vane as Watch TV from AT&T, which offered a similar entertainment centered package for a reduced cost and is made up of channels from Viacom, AMC Networks, Discovery Networks along with BBC America and BBC World News.
Live TV $40.00
For $40.00 you can get a totally different package of 30 plus channels including local networks depending on your zip code. Turner based channels, Disney owned networks and Comcast properties. The lineup for instance does not include any of the Viacom based channels like MTV or Comedy Central or the Nickelodeon lineup and instead leans on things like the FX family of channels, SyFy, major sports networks like ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2 and NBC Sports as well as access to local networks. No PBS streaming though. As apposed to the cheaper offering this package includes every 24-hour News service MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, HLN, CNBC etc along with the previously mentioned entertainment offerings.
Live TV+ $56.00
Live TV+ is like the Live TV package with more sports options. It includes more specialized programming like conference specific networks such as The ACC Network, The SEC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN U, ESPN News, The NFL Network and tons of these “ESPN College Extra channels” These are probably something akin to ESPN3. But there is no way to know what to expect to see on channels like that. There are also Big Ten “overflow” channels. Again the term just lends itself to not much to be seen here. Viewers will also get the Olympic Channel.
Live Zone $60.00
Ok so for 4 dollars more sports fans can add the Longhorn network, NFL RedZone, ESPN Deportes, Fox Deportes, Outside TV, The Motor Sports Network, Outside TV, and The Golf Channel. It also offers a second CNBC based news channel called CNBC World.
Why No Roku Support?
Again another service looking to make a name for itself without launching on the biggest streaming platform in America. This is sure to hurt the distribution for TVision no matter what package it offers unless people look at it more as a mobile based service. It should be noted that T-Mobile will be offering its own Android TV based dongle as a way to access the service. This would be a tool to get people who have not invested in a streaming device already to drop a little more cash at the T-Mobile store.
The way the packages are marketed seems a bit limited overall. It plays the old cable game of tiers that exclude a few channels at a time. It seems obvious that it expect most customers to go with the $60.00 package over the $56.00 one. It feels like deciding between the medium soda and the large soda at the movie theater. Expect to see this change over time.