Here's why T-Mobile is getting into the TV business

Brian Sozzi
·Editor-at-Large
·2-min read

The integration of Sprint and the Apple 5G iPhone rollout be damned — T-Mobile (TMUS) CEO Mike Sievert says his team could continue to maniacally focus on that meshing of cultures and operations and the Apple (AAPL) launch while launching a new attack on Big Cable.

"We are serious," Sievert told Yahoo Finance about his fresh effort to challenge pay TV providers. To be sure, the mobile phone operator (at least until now) made a big splash Tuesday by entering the surging streaming content space.

On Nov. 1, T-Mobile will launch nationwide what it calls TVision LIVE. It will feature three different pay and content tiers. The entry level one is called TVision Live TV. It will cost $40 a month for 30-plus channels including ABC, Fox, NBC, Turner and ESPN. Go up to the top tier called TVision Live Zone, you get more than 50 channels (NFL Network, SEC Network, etc.) and NFL Red Zone for $60.

Rounding out the attack plan is the TVision VIBE service (offers live and on-demand programming for $10 a month) and TVision CHANNELS service (a-la-carte streaming offering).

T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert speaks at the Quibi keynote address January 8, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
T-Mobile Chief Operating Officer Mike Sievert speaks at the Quibi keynote address January 8, 2020 at the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

The pricing is well below typical cable TV plans from the likes of Comcast (CMCSA) and AT&T (T) that could fetch north of $150 a month. Those sky high cable bills — and the fact people don't watch a majority of the channels they pay for — is what continues to fuel cord-cutting across the U.S.

Well that and because original programming out of Amazon (AMZN) and Netflix (NFLX) is so darn compelling and a monthly subscription is still dirt cheap.

To lure in customers, T-Mobile has joined forces with Apple to offer one free year of Apple TV+. That's provided a person signs up for the premium TVision bundles. Sievert says T-Mobile has no intention of creating its own content a la Netflix or Amazon.

The T-Mobile-Apple partnership is not unlike the one Yahoo Finance's parent Verizon (VZ) and Disney (DIS) have worked on. Verizon has continued to offer Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ to mobile phone subscribers this year who trade up to larger data plans. Last October, Verizon struck first on streaming by offering one free year of Disney+ to 4G LTE and 5G unlimited wireless customers and FiOS internet households.

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and co-anchor of The First Trade at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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