This comes as no surprise: T-Mobile is shutting down the TVision Home “fat bundle” pay-TV service, which carried a starting price of $100, at the end of the year.
The announcement comes just a few weeks after the wireless carrier debuted a new set of over-the-top live TV services, also (confusingly) under the TVision brand. Unlike TVision Home, the TVision Live, Vibe and Channels packages work over any broadband connection and have much lower price points.
As of Dec. 30, 2020 at 3 a.m. ET, T-Mobile will no longer offer the TVision Home service or high-speed internet service, according to the company’s new FAQ on its website about the shutdown.
“TVision Home was just the start of our mission to make TV better for everyone and remove customer pain points,” the company says in a message to customers. “We’ve been hard at work on a streaming solution since we started this journey in 2017. We believe that TVision Live will give customers the best possible choice in TV.”
T-Mobile is offering limited-time special deals to TVision Home subscribers to switch over the skinner new TVision Live TV (which starts at $40/month) or Vibe ($10/month) bundles. However, the way the self-described “un-carrier” has packaged and priced those OTT products has drawn fire from programmers including Discovery, NBCU and ViacomCBS — which allege TVision Live and Vibe violate terms of their distribution contracts. (T-Mobile claimed it complies with its content agreements but said that it is “open to evolving our services.”)
TVision Home was based on the service created by startup Layer3, which T-Mobile bought in 2017 for about $325 million. The carrier last year relaunched the service as TVision Home, touting it as “an alternative to cable TV.” But with a starting monthly price that was as much as (or more than) legacy cable and satellite pay-TV tiers, it obviously wasn’t an appealing option for cord-cutters. T-Mobile has not disclosed how many customers signed up for TVision Home.
Another problem with TVision Home: Layer3’s model was to deliver pay TV through deals with broadband providers that could guarantee high throughput rates. As such, the TVision Home had a limited rollout, available in metro areas including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Longmont, Colo.
T-Mobile said current TVision Home subscribers can try TVision Live or TVision Vibe for free through June 30, 2021. In addition, it’s offering them a free TVision Hub, its new Android TV-based adapter and remote that normally costs $50, for each TVision Home set-top box on their account. To qualify, customers must be current T-Mobile postpaid or legacy Sprint wireless subscribers in good standing.
The last bill TVision Home customers receive should be dated no later than Nov. 13, 2020, according to T-Mobile’s FAQ.