Yet another service provider is jumping into the TV streaming wars. This time it is T-Mobile and its TVision service with live news, entertainment and sports channels, starting at $ 10 per month.
T-Mobile says it strives to provide a simpler and less expensive service to those unhappy with the cable. But it’s entering a busy field. And most comparable streaming services have found it difficult to maintain low prices over time.
TVision will offer three branches of its service. TVision Live has three tier live news, entertainment and sports channels with prices of $ 40, $ 50, and $ 60 depending on how many sports channels you want. The $ 40 option offers about 30 channels, including ABC, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, and Fox Sports Networks.
Then there’s TVision Vibe, which costs $ 10 a month and includes about 30 channels from AMC, Discovery, and Viacom, but no sports. And TVision Channels, which lets you sign up for individual channel streaming services, starting with just three: Starz, Showtime, and Epix.
A slew of new streaming services started challenging traditional TV providers and dominant streaming services like Netflix over the past year, including Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO Max and Comcast’s Peacock service. CBS recently rebranded its CBS All Access service as Paramount Plus and will be relaunched in 2021.
Some have already bitten the dust. Quibi, a video platform designed for people on the go to watch “quick bites” on their phones, launched in April and said last week it would close after failing to find its audience. T-Mobile had signed a deal with Quibi to offer the service free for a year to subscribers with unlimited wireless family plans.
Services that offer more traditional cable TV-style bundles include Sling TV, FuboTV, YouTube TV, and others, and were initially heralded as the future of TV as cable pruning got faster and faster. They offered popular TV networks for less than you would pay a cable company. Signing up and canceling were easy, without the need for a cable guy to come to your house.
But customer growth for many of these services has slowed and even declined as prices increased and more channels were added. YouTube TV, for example, launched in 2017 for $ 35, increased the price to $ 50 last year and then back to $ 65 in June as it added new channels and lost others. Sony’s PlayStation Vue, one of the first such services, was discontinued last year due to the high cost of content and the difficulty of negotiating deals with networks.
There is currently a TVision app available on the App Store and Google Play for phones and tablets, as well as third-party TV platforms such as Apple TV and Google TV. T-Mobile is also introducing its own HDMI device and remote for $ 50 called TVision Hub, which works much the same as a Google Chromecast or Amazon Fire stick to let you play video from various streaming apps.
T-Mobile had launched a more traditional version of TVision earlier in 2019, one that required broadband and a set-top box to get over 150 channels for $ 90 a month. But it was only offered in a handful of cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. When it launched, T-Mobile said its goal was to eventually provide the service nationwide over the Internet through third-party apps and TV platforms that people already use.
The new version of TVision will be available nationwide – but only for T-Mobile wireless customers – starting November 1. It will be available to existing Sprint customers on November 13 and next year for T-Mobile prepaid customers and non-subscribers. T-Mobile acquired Sprint in a deal worth about $ 30 billion that closed in April following a lengthy regulatory overhaul, creating a wireless giant that rivals AT&T and Verizon in size.