T-Mobile CEO Drops Out of CES Keynote Citing COVID Concerns

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert has dropped out as a keynote speaker at next month’s CES in Las Vegas, citing concerns over the growing coronavirus infections, including the Omicron variant. The telecom giant will continue as event sponsor.

“While we are confident that CES organizers are taking exhaustive measures to protect in-person attendees, and we had many preventative practices in place as well, we are prioritizing the safety of our team and other attendees with this decision,” T-Mobile said in a statement.

Other companies also dropping plans to attend include Amazon, iHeartRadio, Facebook parent Meta and Twitter.

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CES, which is slated for Jan. 5-8, was held virtually in 2020. The annual consumer electronics confab remains on schedule for in-person attendees, which reportedly include 2,100 exhibitors. Attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination and a negative COVID test 24 hours before attending.

T-Mobile/Sprint Giving New, Existing Subs Free 12-Month Access to Paramount+

T-Mobile Nov. 4 announced it would give its new and existing wireless subscribers free 12-month access to Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s branded subscription streaming video service.

T-Mobile and Sprint customers will have access to live sports, breaking news, movies and TV shows, including new original series such as “Evil,” “iCarly” and “Star Trek: Prodigy,” plus movies such as A Quiet Place Part II, Infinite, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin and Queenpins.

This season, the streaming service will usher in content such as 1883, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Mayor of Kingstown, South Park: Post COVID and “Queen of the Universe.” Paramount+ is also home to a library of over 30,000 episodes from BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and the Smithsonian Channel, as well as breaking news from CBSN and championship sports.

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“The partnership with T-Mobile is a key part to our growth strategy as we continue to scale Paramount+ to become a global leader in streaming,” Jeff Shultz, chief strategy officer and chief business development officer for ViacomCBS Streaming, said in a statement.

Paramount+, which has marketing agreements with Comcast-owned Sky in Europe, will be rolling out the service internationally in 2022.

The promotions aims to replicate the strategy Disney followed launching its branded SVOD platform in 2019 with free 12-month access to Verizon mobile subscribers.

“I believe in the power of partnerships,” ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish said in the fiscal call.

T-Mobile Offering 12 Months of Free Apple TV+ Streaming Service

T-Mobile Aug. 23 announced that select subscribers now get a full year of Apple TV+ streaming video service for free starting Aug. 25. All new and existing T-Mobile customers on the telecom’s most-expensive unlimited data plans (Magenta and Magenta Max) score this deal, in addition to Sprint Unlimited Plus and Sprint Premium customers.

The marketing campaign, which mirrors Verizon’s separate free 12 months of Disney+ and AMC+ to its subscribers, is a shot in the arm to Apple TV+, which continues to trail recent SVOD upstarts HBO Max, NBCUniversal’s Peacock and ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ in media attention. Indeed, Apple has never publicly disclosed Apple TV+ subscriber data despite launching ahead of Disney+.

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The platform’s original content includes the award-winning “Ted Lasso” with Jason Sudeikis, “The Morning Show” with Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon, and “See” with Jason Momoa, as well as buzzworthy films CODA, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, and Greyhound with Tom Hanks. Upcoming series include “The Problem With Jon Stewart” and “Foundation,” among others.

“Customers love streaming … so of course, we’re expanding [their] options,” Jon Freier, EVP of consumer group at T-Mobile, said in a statement.

The promotion includes T-Mobile customers who already have an Apple TV+ account. They can still get 12 months of Apple TV+ from T-Mobile and keep all past video history and purchases on Apple ID.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert to Deliver Keynote at CES 2022

The Consumer Technology Association has announced that T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert will deliver a keynote address during CES 2022 taking place Jan. 5-8, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Sievert’s keynote will discuss 5G innovations for consumers, businesses and thought leadership — and spotlight a look into the future of how these advancements are enabling people to work, communicate and learn more efficiently, according to the CTA.

“As we return to in-person events, we look forward to convening innovators and business leaders from around the world who will showcase how technology impacts and improves every facet of our daily lives,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CTA, said in a statement. “The pace of innovation has accelerated over the last 18 months, and the rapid roll-out of 5G will only increase the momentum. There’s so much excitement in this space and for the first time, we welcome Mike Sievert to our keynote stage to share more about T-Mobile’s vision for fueling 5G innovation.”

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CES 2022 will showcase 5G technologies and bring together industry advocates, including Sievert, to share insights on the where 5G is headed, according to the CTA.

“The last year has shown us the critical role connectivity plays in our lives — for consumers, businesses and society as a whole,” Sievert said in a statement. “As the nation’s 5G leader, T-Mobile is driving a transformation in wireless communications. I can’t wait to keynote CES 2022 and showcase new ways this 5G network is unleashing game-changing innovations both now and in the future.”

The keynotes at CES 2022 will be viewed in-person in Las Vegas and accessed across the globe through the digital experience.

T-Mobile Dropping Branded Online TV Service; Adding YouTube TV, Philo

Wireless carrier T-Mobile’s attempt at a standalone ad-supported online TV service is coming to an end. The carrier March 29 announced it will discontinue TVision on April 29 — about six months after launching — and replace it with discounted access to Google-owned YouTube TV and Philo.

T-Mobile customers get YouTube TV, starting at $54.99 per month ($10 off SRP), and Philo starting at $10 per month ($10 off SRP). YouTube TV offers more than twice as many channels as TVision Live, and Philo offers nearly twice as many channels as TVision VIBE. Plus customers of both get unlimited DVR, can watch TV on more devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or Google Chromecast.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert

“This shift may surprise some given last year’s TVision streaming services launch,” Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile U.S., said in a statement. “But innovation seldom follows a straight line. Since launching the TVision initiative, we’ve learned a lot about the TV industry, about streaming products, and of course, about TV customers. We also saw trends that made us take a fresh look at how to best do in video what we always do: put customers first. With our TV software provider encountering some financial challenges and with our broader, strategic partnerships with Google and Philo, we saw an opportunity to deliver unique value to our customers and strengthen the TVision initiative with the best partners.”

The online TV market is currently spearheaded by Disney-owned Hulu + Live TV with about 4 million subscribers, followed by Dish Network’s Sling TV and AT&T TV.

“This industry is incredibly fragmented, with new streaming services launching all the time, and we’ve concluded that we can add even more value to consumers’ TV choices by partnering with the best services out there, negotiating incredible streaming media deals for T-Mobile customers, and helping our customers navigate the increasingly complex streaming world,” Sievert said.

 

 

 

Discovery CEO Disputes T-Mobile’s Online TV Service Distribution

David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery, Nov. 5 reiterated his concern about T-Mobile’s recently launched online TV platform, TVision, and its distribution of Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV and TLC. The entry-level service offers 30 channels, including AMC Networks, Animal Planet; BBC America; BBC World News; BET; BET Her; CMT, and Comedy Central, among others.

Speaking on a fiscal call, Zaslav questioned why TVision, which launched in late October offering online TV subscription packages priced from $10 to $60 monthly, only carries the Discovery platforms on the lowest-priced option, TVision Vibe.

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“We were very surprised with how T-Mobile decided that they were going to bundle our networks, particularly because we have a clear agreement where our networks are required to be carried on all their … OTT offerings,” Zaslav said.

Discovery, like all pay-TV channels, is looking to expand distribution as the linear TV business model contracts and consumers migrate to less-expensive over-the-top video content. The company is set to launch its own branded SVOD platform, Discovery+, some time next year — and likely priced higher than $10 a month.

“So let’s just characterize it this way: We’re in active discussion with them to quickly resolve that issue,” Zaslav said. “We don’t believe they have the right to do what they’re doing right now. And they know. It’s very clear to them and they’re focused on it.”

 

T-Mobile Launches TVision Live Streaming Service

T-Mobile is targeting cord-cutters with TVision, a new live streaming service starting at $10 a month and launching Nov. 1.

“With TVision, you can cut the cord, cut the cost and cut the crap,” said Dow Draper, T-Mobile EVP of emerging products, who announced the move in a webcast.

TVision Live includes live news, sports, 100 hours of cloud DVR and more than 10,000 programs on-demand starting at $40 a month. It includes ABC, Fox, NBC, Turner, ESPN and more.

TVision Live TV+ includes all of the above, plus 10-plus more channels, including the NFL Network, ESPNU, SEC Network and The Golf Channel, at $50 a month.

TVision Live Zone, for sports fans at $60 a month, includes all of the above, plus 10 additional channels, including NFL Red Zone.

TVision Vibe, at $10 a month, includes live and on-demand programming from AMC, BET, Discovery, Food Network, Hallmark, HGTV, MTV, TLC and more (30-plus channels).

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TVision Channels features a-la-carte streaming services with one bill, one login and one place to manage it in the T-Mobile app or online, starting with Starz, Showtime and Epix.

For full channel lineups, visit T-Mobile.com/TVision.

Starting Nov. 1, customers who sign up for TVision Live TV+ or Live Zone packages by Dec. 31 will get Apple TV+ for free for a year, plus the option to add Apple TV 4K for $99.

TVision streaming services and the TVision Hub will be available nationwide for T-Mobile postpaid customers. Later in November, TVision services will be available to legacy Sprint customers and next year to prepaid customers.

The streaming services are available via Android and Apple mobile devices via the T-Mobile TVision app; on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV or Google TV using the TVision app; and the TVision Hub — an HDMI streaming device and remote for $50.

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T-Mobile Streaming Original Major League Baseball Content

Wireless carrier T-Mobile Sept. 14 announced it would begin streaming an original Q&A video series featuring Major League Baseball players. Called “Beyond the Bases,” the series is hosted by Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, who will be joined by New York Mets All-Star first baseman Pete Alonso, on Sept. 15 at 12 p.m. PT on T-MobileBeyondtheBases.com and available on demand afterwards.

The series addresses the players’ personal stories, little-known facts on their outside passions and personal interests. Upcoming guests include Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Didi Gregorious, Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson and New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit, among others, through Nov. 10.

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“We started this season with free MLB.tv for T-Mobile and legacy Sprint customers, and now with “Beyond the Bases,” we’ll bring even more baseball to the fans,” Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement.

T-Mobile in 2018 became the first telco provider to offer select subscribers free access to Netflix for a year. The promotion proved so popular Disney offered a similar deal for Disney+ to Verizon subs. This year, T-Mobile expanded third-party SVOD access with a promotion for MLB.tv, which affords subs access to all out of market games.

T-Mobile’s MLB promotion includes a trivia contest raising funds to helps cover Little League Baseball and Softball registration fees for kids in need around the country. Little Leaguers will also get the chance to ask their own questions to the MLB players on a weekly basis.

T-Mobile users can sign up to get notified about upcoming episodes and be entered to win a free trip to the MLB All-Star Week in Atlanta in 2021 — including VIP access to the T-Mobile Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, All-Star Sunday, including the All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game.

T-Mobile Offering Customers Free Quibi Subscription

T-Mobile is offering customers a free subscription to short-content streaming service Quibi via the promotion “Quibi on Us” when the service launches April 6.

Quibi, led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, delivers content designed specifically for smartphones. All Quibi videos are 10 minutes or less and feature such stars as Jennifer Lopez, Chrissy Teigen, Liam Hemsworth and Reese Witherspoon.

Via the exclusive deal with Quibi, T-Mobile customers with two or more voice lines at standard rates on Magenta and ONE plans with taxes and fees included — along with discounted First Responder, Military and Magenta Plus 55 plans — or small business customers with up to 12 lines, can get Quibi (regularly $4.99) added to their plan at no extra cost. Customers can sign up between now and July 7 to get “Quibi on Us” by going to mytmobile.com or the T-Mobile app for iOS or Android beginning April 6. Until April 3, T-Mobile customers can sign up in the T-Mobile Tuesdays app or online for access to three bonus episodes of Jennifer Lopez’ “Thanks a Million” April 6.

After a full year of “Quibi on Us” and “Netflix on Us,” a promotion that offers SVOD service Netflix at no cost, Un-carrier customers can choose to continue with one or the other.

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“T-Mobile customers have always been ahead of the curve — streaming more data, watching more mobile video — so when we first heard about Quibi, we knew our customers would love it,” said Mike Sievert, president and CEO of T-Mobile, in a statement. “And, with more of us staying home right now, Quibi’s never been more needed. It comes on the scene with a totally different experience, made for mobile, quick to watch and as entertaining as anything you’ve ever seen.”

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“Quibi and T-Mobile are a perfect match — we’re both changing our industries by giving our customers what they want in truly unique and innovative ways,” said Meg Whitman, CEO of Quibi, in a statement. “And, since Quibi is built for an optimal mobile experience, we chose T-Mobile as our exclusive wireless launch partner. With the only nationwide 5G network, T-Mobile was the obvious choice for our customers.”

More than 85% of mobile video streamed on T-Mobile’s network is short-form content, according to the company.

T-Mobile Bows $15 Monthly Plan — With Restrictions

With the coronavirus pandemic in full swing, T-Mobile March 25 launched its lowest-priced smartphone plan ahead of a previously announced bow following completion of its merger with Sprint.

Dubbed “T-Mobile Connect,” the new plan is half the price of T-Mobile’s lowest priced plan — for unlimited talk and text plus 2GB high-speed smartphone data, including access to T-Mobile’s nationwide 5G network.

But there are additional costs in the details. In addition to taxes & fees, a $10 SIM starter kit may be required. Thus, for a $25 base fee, subscribers get 5GB of high-speed smartphone data for use in the United States only. T-Mobile Connect is also offering an “annual data upgrade,” affording subs an additional 500MB of monthly data at no additional cost for the next five years.

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T-Mobile is also launching lower-priced plans and offers for Metro by T-Mobile, including a $15 plan that’s good for 60 days after activation.

MetroSmart Hotspot devices will be half off, and the $35 per month data plan will include 20GB — double the normal monthly data — for the next 60 days.

“Right now, having a reliable, low-cost connection is absolutely crucial for Americans, and with many facing financial strain, time is of the essence,” John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement.

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The wireless carrier is also giving all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile subs (as of March 13) who have legacy plans without unlimited high-speed data, unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming).