T-Mobile Acquires Layer3 TV, Plans To Roll Out Pay-TV Bundle In 2018


Wireless carrier T-Mobile is entering the crowded TV space, buying broadband video startup Layer3 TV and planning to turn Layer3’s nascent pay-TV service into a nationwide offering in 2018.

Layer3 TV

Financial terms were not disclosed. Denver-based Layer3 has raised about $80 million from investors including¬†Evolution Media, whose backers include CAA and Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media. The company has added Hollywood veterans including former Fox exec Lindsay Gardner and ex-UTA social media agent Eric Kuhn to its exec roster as it has grown.

Details about the new TV service, which will build on Layer3’s existing presence in select markets including Los Angeles, have not come into focus. Execs declined to offer any guidance on pricing or strategy on the mix of content.

More than anything, execs mounted an argument during a conference call that the service would directly address friction and shortcomings in the current TV ecosystem.

“This is about an integrated home and mobile experience,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said.

The “virtual MVPD” marketplace has gotten crowded in recent months, with early movers Sling TV and PlayStation Vue being joined by Hulu, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now and others.

Legere shrugged off the notion of the marketplace being too full. “Some could argue that TV is a crowded space, but you could have said that about mobile before we disrupted that as well,” he said.

T-Mobile, which recently ended merger talks with Sprint, has 15,000 retail stores and “access to tens of millions of handsets,” as Legere put it, giving it advantages in terms of ramping up the service. He noted that the plans for a pay-TV offering pre-dated the merger talks with Sprint.

“Our brand is about solving pain points.¬†cable and satellite TV are just rife with pain points,” Legere said.

This article was printed from https://deadline.com/2017/12/t-mobile-acquires-layer3-plans-to-roll-out-pay-tv-bundle-in-2018-1202226084/