T-Mobile and Viacom in the US have unveiled a landmark deal that will bring Viacom TV channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount to T-Mobile’s new mobile video service, which is scheduled to launch later this year.
The agreement will allow T-Mobile to offer live, linear feeds of the Viacom channels as well as on-demand viewing. Analysts see it as a further attack on the traditional big bundle PayTV packages that characterised the industry until the advent of SVOD.
“Viacom represents the best of the best, most-popular brands on cable, so they are an amazing partner for us,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, in a statement. “TV programming has never been better, but consumers are fed up with rising costs, hidden fees, lousy customer service, non-stop BS. And MacGyvering together a bunch of subscriptions, apps and dongles isn’t much better. That’s why T-Mobile is on a mission to give consumers a better way to watch what they want, when they want.”
“Today’s landmark announcement marks a major step forward in our strategy to accelerate the presence of our brands on mobile and other next-generation platforms,” added Viacom president and CEO Bob Bakish. “We’re excited to partner with T-Mobile to provide millions of subscribers with access to our networks and more choice.”
Not much detail is available on T-Mobile’s mobile TV plans at this point. For example, it is not clear how it will package content or whether it will bundle its TV service with its mobile plans. When launched the service will be available to 80 million customers.