T-Mobile CEO bashes Verizon’s Disney+ offer

Verizon customers getting a free year of Disney+ made a big splash when it was announced last week, but on Monday T-Mobile CEO John Legere didn’t hesitate to call it a poor attempt at copying T-Mobile’s Netflix on Us deal.

During T-Mobile’s earnings call, Legere said that there’s no comparison in terms of value and substance between a lifetime of Netflix paid for by T-Mobile and one free year of Disney+ paid for by Verizon.

“So, I think it’s not exactly something other than the vice president of copy and paste at Verizon looked over at our Netflix on Us success, and did a horrific job of creating it,” said Legere. “And I don’t know but last time I checked, nine out of 10 people who watch Disney cartoons don’t make wireless decisions.”

T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert smoothed over Legere’s comments by clarifying that T-Mobile thinks Disney+ will be a great service and that the company’s only issue is that Verizon “took something we’re doing and did such a poor job copying it.”

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Sievert also offered some context for T-Mobile’s more recent deals with Quibi and Viacom, and also the company’s plans to offer video through its TVision brand. He said the Netflix offer has given T-Mobile the understanding that customers want the carrier to play a role in management and consumption of subscription video services.

Sievert said that along with Quibi and Viacom that there are plenty more partnership opportunities for T-Mobile.

“…In this world as it's changing, consumers are faced with an exciting world of OTT video, but a confusing one. And we have shown through Netflix on Us that there is a role that they trust us to play in helping them choose, helping them authenticate, helping them pay for their video choices. And we think we've got a great strategy here,” said Sievert. “It's going to be mobile-focused. It's based on taking our TVision brand and really helping customers make great choices in this area and bringing them great value.”

T-Mobile in April announced TVision Home, it’s $90-per-month pay TV service based off the Layer3 platform the company acquired in 2018. But the company has yet to set a date for the launch of its mobile video service.