T-Mobile defends $90 baseline pricing on TVision Home

When T-Mobile this month launched TVision Home, its rebranded Layer3 TV service costing $90 per month minimum, many industry analysts and consumers scoffed at the less-than-disruptive price tag. While TVision Home launched at $90/month, including a $9.99/month discount for T-Mobile customers, it also charges $10/month per connected TV.

Reactions to the approximately $100/month cost were not overly enthusiastic.

During T-Mobile’s first-quarter earnings call on Thursday, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert fielded a question about TVision Home’s pricing and how it was initially received.

He said that T-Mobile is starting its pay TV push with a full cable replacement product including more than 275 channels including HD and 4K content, personalized DVRs for each family member, Amazon Alexa and Google voice integration and social media integration.

“And, it’s priced below what typical people at cable and satellite pay when they’re beyond that first promotional year. They’re in year two of those multiyear contracts where you sign up for something and it’s swell at first and then you get slammed,” said Sievert. “We come in with fair, rational pricing from day one that saves them money right away versus year two and beyond in those crazy contracts.”

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Sievert insisted that TVision Home is just the beginning of the journey for T-Mobile. T-Mobile still plans to launch fixed wireless broadband based on its 5G network. But, the company is currently testing that service using its 4G LTE network and said it’s been able to offer 50 Mbps service so far. T-Mobile has set a target to serve 9.5 million U.S. households with broadband by 2024.

While T-Mobile is working on its integrated pay TV and broadband product, the company is also putting together a mobile TV product.

“We think there’s a lot of room in the mobile and OTT space, both through partnerships and through first-party offers from us. We’re very excited about that space and we’ll have more to say about it this year,” Sievert said.

However, some details about the mobile service already surfaced. Earlier this month, T-Mobile and Viacom announced a distribution deal covering live linear and on-demand content for the mobile TV service. Viacom said its brands, including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and Paramount, will play a key role in the service.

“TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS. And, MacGyvering together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better. That’s why T-Mobile is on a mission to give consumers a better way to watch what they want, when they want,” said T-Mobile CEO John Legere in a statement from the release.