T-Mobile has announced today that it's going to "Un-carrier" your TV with its own new service in 2018, and the company just took its first step by buying Layer3 TV, an online television provider. The motivation behind the move? John Legere—T-Mobile's exuberant CEO—says that, since T-Mobile is already disrupting the 2nd most hated industry in America, it may as well set its sights on the first: cable and satellite TV. That's... actually something we can get behind.
Legere's full and characteristically enthusiastic announcement is just below.
The video's just a short 5-minute affair with T-Mobile's typical mix of high production quality and hyperbole. But if that's still too long for you, the TL;DR is that T-Mobile wants to start providing you with TV service. Legere says that this was part of the company's long-term plans, and it sort of makes sense. When you get right down to it, it's all just data tied to a subscription.
Cable providers came to compete indirectly with T-Mobile from the other direction, becoming data providers second after first providing media in the form of television programming. T-Mobile is approaching it from the opposite direction, as primarily a data provider moving into media distribution. That unique approach, combined with a better pricing scheme and their historic aspirations to generally un-fuck broken business models, might actually pay off.
Right now there aren't a lot of details available, like if T-Mobile is going to "Un-carrier" TV to the point of providing à la carte service (please), but knowing Legere, I'm sure that we'll hear more soon. The purchase of Layer3 TV is expected to go through "in the next few weeks," after which Legere claims they will immediately get to work fighting for consumers in yet another industry.
Embellishments aside, if I can get just the channels I want, like Adult Swim and Syfy, for a reasonable price, I'll be glad to resign my hipster millennial status as a cord cutter.
When it comes to TV, Legere says it shouldn't be this hard, and he's right. I just hope T-Mobile can actually compete in that market and provide the disruptive service they claim to. Very few things would give me, personally, more joy than watching the major American cable TV providers burn.