T-Mobile has taken the wraps off a retooled, re-imagined (and delayed) version of TVision, a no-contract OTT-TV service that features a set of slimmed-down channel packages, plus a few à la carte options, starting at just $10 per month.
T-Mobile’s new Internet-based pay-TV offering will launch nationally on November 1 and will initially be offered exclusively to T-Mobile’s base of postpaid mobile customers. T-Mobile will hawk TVision at its retail stores, via its customer care service and through its digital channels.
The new TVision is booting up with three tiers:
- TVision Vibe: Starting at $10 per month, this low-end tier features 30-plus channels, with a focus on general entertainment content. Networks on the tier include AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, Comedy Central, Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, MTV, HGTV, Nick, Own, Paramount Network, Travel Channel and VH1, among others.”It’s cheaper than some à la carte streaming apps, so we think that’s a great value for those that don’t want sports and news,” said T-Mobile VP of Entertainment Dwayne Benefield, a pay-TV vet who previously headed up PlayStation Vue, the Sony-owned OTT-TV service that was shut down in January.
- TVision Live: Tacking on sports and news from programmers such as NBC, ESPN, Fox and Turner, TVision Live starts at $40 per month. For an additional $10 per month, TVision Live+ adds more sports channels, including NFL Network and Longhorn Network. TVision Live Zone adds NFL RedZone channel and others for a total of $60 per month. To help prime the pump, T-Mobile is also throwing in a year of Apple TV+ (Apple’s new subscription VoD service) to new TVision Live+ and TVision Zone customers.Update: Benefield estimates that, at launch, TVision Live customers will have access to their local NBC affiliate and either the local ABC and/or Fox affiliates, or the national feeds from ABC and Fox.
- TVision also features an à la carte “Channels” service that is starting access to a multiplex of live channels and VoD libraries from three premium services – Starz, Showtime and Epix. The obvious absentee here is HBOMax, WarnerMedia’s new supersized SVoD service.
TVision is also outfitted with a cloud DVR – 100 hours of storage is included for no added charge to TVision Live, and costs an extra $5 per month for TVision Vibe and TVision Channels customers. TVision Vibe subs can access up to two concurrent streams, compared with three concurrent streams for TVision Live and Channels.
All of the TVision packages and Channels content will be woven into a uniform application. “We look to build on that platform so users can really build a unified experience all within one app,”
T-Mobile’s TVision services can also be combined. For example, you can subscribe to both TVision Live for a basic set of channels and then add TVision Vibe on top for those additional entertainment-focused channels ust like regular cable.
Those prices certainly impressive, but other TV services, like Fubo or YouTube TV, have offered similarly low prices at their launches, too, only to raise prices considerably as content licensing costs have gone up. It’s not clear yet whether TVision’s various services will manage to avoid a similar fate in the future, despite T-Mobile’s usual rhetoric about offering a different sort of service than its competitors.