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).

Disney+ Ups Free SVOD Promotions in Germany and United Kingdom

With Disney set to launch its branded subscription streaming video service, Disney+, in Europe on March 24, the media giant has rolled out promotional offers with mobile carriers T-Mobile and O2 in Germany and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Unlike its 12-month free service offer to Verizon subscribers in the United States, Disney is offering six months of free service in Germany and the U.K. The service will launch with more than 500 movies, 350 TV series and a slate of 26 exclusive Disney+ Originals across its Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic brands.

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“We’re delighted to be working with Disney to bring these incredible shows and movies to our customers, demonstrating that there are more reasons than ever to join the U.K.’s No.1 network,” Mark Evans, CEO of O2, said in a statement.

Jan Koeppen, president of The Walt Disney Company EMEA, said the O2 and T-Mobile agreements represent a “new chapter” in the way Disney delivers its “timeless stories” to consumers.

“With the Disney announcement to enter the streaming business, it was clear to us that we had to make this attractive offer accessible to our customers,” said Dirk Wössner, board member for Deutsche Telekom’s German business.

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All MagentaMobil, MagentaZuhause and MagentaTV subs receive six months of Disney+ free, which normally costs €5.99 ($6.66) per month.

 

T-Mobile Giving Subs Free Year of Major League Baseball Streaming Service

T-Mobile is giving subscribers a free year access to MLB.tv, the standalone subscription streaming service operated by Major League Baseball.

The promotion, which is part of T-Mobile Tuesdays and begins on March 24, enables T-Mobile data subs unlimited access to MLB games outside their market.

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MLB.tv launched in 1995 as an audio-only format. It currently charges $25 monthly or $119 for the season.

The wireless carrier said that any T-Mobile customer on a qualifying monthly rate plan can participate in the Tuesdays promotion. To be eligible, customers must be at least 18 years old, minors need to be at least 13 years of age with parental consent, and customers in Puerto Rico must be at least 21 years old. Subs must download the T-Mobile Tuesdays app to access MLB.tv.

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Judge Approves $26 Billion Sprint, T-Mobile Merger

A U.S. District Court Judge Feb. 11 approved the $26 billion merger between T-Mobile and Sprint — paving the way for an empowered telecommunications partnership that includes Dish Network and is aimed at competing against AT&T and Verizon.

The deal, which was approved by the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission, still requires a formal greenlight from the California Public Utilities Commission.

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U.S. Judge Victor Marrero, in his ruling, denied claims by several State Attorney Generals that the merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers would stifle competition and raise consumer rates, among other issues.

In addition, the Marrero dismissed concerns Dish Network wouldn’t be able to enter the market successfully as a wireless carrier. As part of the Sprint, T-Mobile deal, Dish agreed to acquire Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and other prepaid phone businesses for $5 billion.

Dish, which operates a satellite TV distribution business, has been looking to diversify its business, including launching online TV platform Sling TV.

“The resulting stalemate leaves the court lacking sufficiently impartial and objective ground on which to rely in basing a sound forecast of the likely competitive effects of a merger,” Marrero wrote in support of the deal.

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As part of the transaction, Sprint and T-Mobile said they would deploy a 5G nationwide network within three years of closing the deal.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has opposed the merger, said the deal thwarts consumer rights and fair pricing.

“We’ll stand on the side of competition over megamergers, every time,” Becerra said. “And our coalition is prepared to fight as long as necessary to protect innovation and competitive costs.”

Hastings: Netflix Sub Numbers Not as Important as Time Spent Streaming

It’s no secret Netflix subscriber growth is slowing as the SVOD pioneer reaches market saturation. The service is projected to reach 165 million subs worldwide at the end of the current fiscal quarter, ending Dec. 31.

That reality at a time when high-profile competitors such as Apple, Disney, WarnerMedia and NBC Universal enter the streaming video wars underscores why Netflix co-founder/CEO Reed Hastings is hoping Wall Street and others will shift their focus from sub growth to viewing hours.

Speaking Dec. 6 at The New York Times DealBook confab in New York, Hastings said time spent streaming content should become the new metric underscoring a service’s success.

“You’ll hear some subscriber numbers but you can just bundle things so that’s not going to be that relevant,” Hastings said. “So the real measurement will be time — how do consumers vote with their evenings? What mix of all the services do they end up watching?”

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Earlier this year Streaming Observer concluded Netflix subs worldwide spent 164.8 million combined hours a day watching content — and in the process used nearly 500 million GB of data on a daily basis.

Indeed, Hastings’ comment may ring true as nascent competitors such as Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max offer free service to in-house and third-party platforms such as Verizon and AT&T. Apple is offering its service free for one year with any Apple hardware purchase.

Netflix itself has a promotional free year of service with select T-Mobile service plans.

Hastings contends most consumers will subscribe to multiple services, reiterating that he will personally subscribe to Disney+ (“They have great shows!” he said) upon its Nov. 12 launch.

At the end of the day, Hastings is betting consumers will lean toward established brands with proven track records in the SVOD space.

“When you think, ‘Do I turn on cable, do I turn on YouTube, do I turn on Netflix?’ we want you to choose Netflix,” he said.

Quibi Streaming Service Gets Pre-Launch Validation With T-Mobile Pact

Quibi, the pending short-form video streaming service launching in 2020 from DreamWorks Animation founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP chief executive Meg Whitman, has reportedly inked a distribution deal with T-Mobile.

Financial terms and specifics of the deal were not disclosed. Quibi is slated to launch its $4.99 monthly service in 2020.

Quibi will deliver original video content no longer than 10 minutes in length from a variety of content sources, including directors Sam Raimi, Guillermo del Toro, Antoine Fuqua, Steven Spielberg, Lorne Michaels and producer Jason Blum, among others.

“Quibi will deliver premium video content for millennials on a technology platform that is built exclusively for mobile, so a telecommunications partner like T-Mobile, with their broad coverage today and impressive 5G road map, is the perfect fit,” Whitman told the the Los Angeles Times.

Quibi co-founders Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg

The platform is eager to link to T-Mobile’s 83.1 million cellphone subscribers and 5G network ambitions. And T-Mobile just received FCC approval for its $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint.

“Quibi is leading the way on how video content is made and experienced in a mobile-first world,” Mike Sievert, COO of T-Mobile, said. “That’s why our partnership makes perfect sense — two mobile-centric disrupters coming together to give customers something new and remarkable.”

 

Dish Network Entering Wireless Mobile Market

Where are those Blockbuster Video stores now?

Dish Network is becoming the nation’s fourth wireless carrier following the Department of Justice’s approval of T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion acquisition of Sprint.

In a shrewd deal hammered out by Dish co-founder/chairman Charlie Ergen, the satellite TV operator helped facilitate the merger’s anti-trust issues with regulators by getting T-Mobile and Sprint to agree to sell prepaid wireless service Boost Mobile and related spectrum assets for $5 billion.

The prepaid businesses, including Boost Mobile, serve approximately 9.3 million customers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

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At close, Sprint’s prepaid businesses and customers will immediately move to Dish, as will the more than 400 employees and nationwide independent retail network that supports more than 7,500 retail outlets.

Dish’s asset acquisitions from Sprint include a $1.4 billion purchase of Sprint’s prepaid businesses, and a $3.6 billion agreement to purchase Sprint’s nationwide 800 MHz wireless spectrum. The spectrum purchase is expected to be completed three years after the closing of the acquisition of the prepaid businesses.

Dish will activate all new wireless customers on the New T-Mobile network. Existing prepaid customers will be supported on the Sprint legacy network and will eventually transition to the New T-Mobile network.

“These developments are the fulfillment of more than two decades’ worth of work and more than $21 billion in spectrum investments intended to transform Dish into a connectivity company,” Ergen said in a statement. “Taken together, these opportunities will set the stage for our entry as the nation’s fourth facilities-based wireless competitor and accelerate our work to launch the country’s first standalone 5G broadband network.”

Indeed, Dish acquired bankrupt Blockbuster Video in 2011 largely to transition the home video chain’s stores into future mobile wireless retail centers. That plan never materialized after Dish shuttered all company owned Blockbuster stores in 2013.

“As a new [satellite TV] entrant [in 1995], Dish encountered many skeptics who questioned our ability to succeed,” Ergen said. “But, customers loved the disruption we brought to the marketplace with innovations such as a 100% digital experience, local-into-local broadcast, the DVR and ad-skipping. As we enter the wireless business, we will again serve customers by disrupting incumbents and their legacy networks, this time with the nation’s first standalone 5G broadband network.”

The Sprint asset transactions are subject to customary conditions, including the closing of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger, government approvals, and confirmation that Dish is able to provision customers on the New T-Mobile network.

Closing is expected within three months following the completion of the Sprint and T-Mobile merger.

Report: Amazon Eyeing Boost Mobile Pre-Paid Wireless Service

Amazon reportedly is considering acquiring Boost Mobile, the prepaid cellphone service owned by Sprint Corp.

Sprint, which is attempting to merge with T-Mobile to become “New T-Mobile” for $26 billion, is spinning off Boost in an effort to appease federal regulators.

Reuters, which first reported the story citing sources familiar with the situation, said Amazon’s interest revolves around the ability to use T-Mobile’s wireless network and access wireless spectrum for six years as part of any transaction.

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Wireless spectrum enables the flow of digital data, including sound and video. Spectrum helps deliver voice and video between cell phones, television shows from broadcasters and online information between computers.

In addition to e-commerce, SVOD and digital books and music, Amazon has become one of the world’s largest cloud-based services through its AWS (Amazon Web Services) subsidiary.