The big picture: T-Mobile is learning the hard way that acquiring programming distribution rights is no easy task. Others with far more power have also stumbled in this area. Keep chipping away at the rock, however, and it'll eventually crack.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere in December 2017 promised to revolutionize the television viewing experience in the coming year. Through an acquisition of TV technology innovator Layer3 TV, Inc., T-Mobile aimed to “bring consumers real choice” with its “disruptive new TV service.”
With less than two weeks remaining in the calendar year, sources familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg that T-Mobile is pushing the launch back into 2019.
The people said T-Mobile executives were faced with two options: launching the service now with a “garden-variety” of cable channels and online content or waiting until next year to deliver something a bit more groundbreaking.
Plans could still change but a launch before the end of the year seems unlikely.
T-Mobile can be forgiven for getting a bit sidetracked. Since its announcement last December, the carrier entered into an agreement to purchase rival Sprint for $26 billion. The merger was recently approved by the National Security Council but still needs the green light from the FCC and others.
T-Mobile is the latest in a long list of companies with aspirations of reinventing television. Progress has been made in the quest to disrupt the old guard although true disorder – like a la carte channels – has thus far remained elusive.