T-Mobile finds quick fix for TVision programmer disputes

TVision
(Fierce Video)

T-Mobile has found a quick fix for its troubles with programmers, who voiced displeasure with their channels being sold in the $10/month TVision Vibe package.

In a holiday deals announcement, the mobile carrier said that current TVision Live customers and anyone who signs up for a TVision Live service package will get an additional 33 entertainment channels from TVision Vibe included. The move effectively attaches channels from AMC Networks, Discovery Inc., ViacomCBS and others to the core programming package.

T-Mobile officially announced its new TVision service last month and shortly after it launched, Discovery CEO David Zaslav went public about TVision Vibe, which he said was suggested was a breach of contract.

“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 basic-tier OTT offerings,” said Zaslav during Discovery’s earnings call on Thursday. “We're in active discussions with them to quickly resolve that issue. 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.”

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Sources familiar with the situation at ViacomCBS and NBCUniversal also said those programmers had concerns about how T-Mobile was packaging and selling channels.

The new service tiers include TVision Live, a $40/month package that includes 100 hours of cloud DVR storage, access to three simultaneously streams and channels including ABC, ESPN, NBC, Fox, TBS, CNN, FS1, FX, TNT, Disney Channel, Fox News and more. T-Mobile said it wanted to focus on live sports and news in its core package and that’s why many general entertainment channels like AMC, Discovery, Food Network, MTV, TLC and more were placed in the separate TVision Vibe package.

For now, though, it appears that Vibe has been merged with the other TVision Live packages by way of a holiday deal.

T-Mobile is also giving away a free year of Apple TV+ to customers who subscribe to the Live TV+ or Live Zone packages of the TVision Live service.