Subscriptions to traditional cable and satellite TV continue to plummet as more and more consumers cut the cord, opting instead to use online streaming TV services like Hulu and Netflix. While the pay-TV industry is still managing to hang on, it now has yet another competitor about to emerge. Layer3 TV, an internet-driven TV service, just got a significant shot in the financial arm with its recent acquisition by the world’s third-largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile.
In a Wednesday announcement by T-Mobile, CEO John Legere promised the purchase of Layer3 will shake up the struggling cable and satellite TV market by pledging to “bring real choice to consumers across the country.” However, the CEO’s strong declaration did not reveal any specific details on what programming options will be available or how much it will cost. Until the deal closes, nothing will change with Layer3’s current service, according to another T-Mobile statement.
As of now, Layer3 TV is only available in five U.S. cities – Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, and Washington, D.C. Per a report from Variety, subscribers in these areas pay around $75 a month for 275 HD channels and access to major apps like Facebook, iHeart Radio, and YouTube.
With T-Mobile backing, Layer3 will have the power to open up nationwide and offer TV packages predicted to rival some of the big cable providers. For years, the wireless company has positioned itself as the “uncarrier” by offering consumer-friendly choices that sent other wireless giants like At&T and Verizon scrambling to maintain market share. By taking over Layer3, T-Mobile is likely to do the same in the streaming TV market.
In Legere’s announcement, it was clear T-Mobile wants to take business from cable titans like Comcast, Time Warner, and Charter. The wireless company wants to “take the fight to big cable and satellite TV on behalf of consumers everywhere.”
In a blatant move to change the wireless market earlier this year, T-Mobile announced a partnership with streaming video giant Netflix. Shortly after that, the company rolled out a new mobile plan option that allowed subscribers to use Netflix free, a service that normally costs $10.99 a month.
Traditional TV service subscriptions have been dwindling for several years. Recent statistics provided by the New York Post revealed a projected 1 million households canceled service in just the third quarter of 2017. By the end of 2016, an estimated 16 million subscribers cut the cord, a figure expected to reach 22 million before the year is out.
TechCrunch reports the new T-Mobile-backed Layer3 TV service will be available sometime next year. It will be available on any internet-connected device, either mobile or in-home, and not limited to only T-Mobile customers. Layer3 will join a long list of other similar providers, including DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue.