Viacom and T-Mobile have struck a content distribution deal that will see programming from MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, Paramount and other brands take a prominent role in T-Mobile’s forthcoming video service.
T-Mobile has been eyeing the video market since its acquisition of Layer3 in late 2017. Under the deal with Viacom, which the telecom company called a “cornerstone launch partner,” it will gain a portfolio of recognizable network brands to market to its nearly 80 million customers.
“Viacom represents the best of the best, most-popular brands on cable, so they are an amazing partner for us!” T-Mobile CEO John Legere exclaimed in the official announcement. “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.”
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“We are thrilled to join forces with T-Mobile on a new entertainment service that represents an important evolution in how audiences consume our content,” said Bob Bakish, Viacom President and CEO. “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, and we’re so excited to partner with T-Mobile to provide millions of subscribers with access to our networks and more choice in a new service that will be unlike any other in the market.”
Viacom has already been active in the mobile video market internationally. Bakish came to the top job after overseeing the company’s international efforts. The company has also been pursuing a range of other avenues for its content in order to lessen the stress on traditional pay-TV carriage. It acquired PlutoTV, a major ad-supported streaming service, earlier this year, and has also brought in conference outfit VidCon, social influencer platform WhoSay and young-skewing video purveyor Awesomeness.
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