T-Mobile to Launch Internet TV Service in 2018

T-Mobile plans to launch an internet-delivered television service across the U.S. in 2018, and is acquiring startup Layer3 TV to bring out yet another competitor to traditional cable and satellite TV services.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Layer3 TV, founded in 2013, had raised about $80 million in total funding.

“People love their TV, but they hate their TV providers,” John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile, said in announcing the deal Wednesday. “We’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country.”

T-Mobile didn’t provide any details about what its forthcoming over-the-top TV offering will look like or what it will cost. Mainly, the company’s announcement focused on trash-talking incumbent “Big Cable and Satellite TV” and asserting that the market is ripe for disruption. That posture is consistent with T-Mobile’s marketing itself as the “Un-carrier,” which tries to position the wireless carrier as having more consumer-friendly offerings than bigger rivals AT&T and Verizon.

Layer3 TV’s broadband-delivered subscription TV service is currently available in five U.S. cities: Denver (where the company is based), L.A., Chicago, Washington D.C., and Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas.

T-Mobile said that until the deal closes, there will be no changes to Layer3 TV’s operations but indicated the existing service will be superseded by something else. “Layer3 TV has a great solution today, but we plan to introduce something new, leveraging the awesome talent and tech at Layer3 TV,” a rep for the carrier said.

The new TV service will not be limited to T-Mobile’s network, according to the carrier. “It’ll work on any internet-connected device you have and any internet connection you have,” a T-Mobile spokeswoman said.

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SOURCE: Variety, Todd Spangler