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T-Mobile has agreed to acquire cable startup Layer3 TV as plans to launch a streaming television service in 2018.
“People love their TV, but they hate their TV providers,” T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in announcing the deal, terms of which were not disclosed. “And worse, they have no real choice but to simply take it — the crappy customer service, clunky technology and outrageous bills loaded with fees! That’s where we come in. We’re gonna fix the pain points and bring real choice to consumers across the country.”
Founded in 2013 by a group of cable and media veterans, Colorado-based Layer3 has focused on providing a technology-enabled, premium cable experience. Layer3 offers no contracts, 24/7 customer support and a library of on-demand programming. Its “concierge cable” service is currently available in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other markets.
Legere says that Layer3 will become the foundation of T-Mobile’s planned television service, which will take advantage of T-Mobile’s nationwide retail presence. Such an offering will put T-Mobile one step closer to competing with mobile carrier rivals such as AT&T, which also owns DirecTV and is in the process of buying Time Warner, and Verizon, which in addition to offering Fios in select regions also bought AOL and Yahoo to build out a media business.
“No market needs Un-carrier-ing more than pay TV, so we’re completely stoked to join T-Mobile in disrupting the status quo,” said Layer3 TV CEO and co-founder Jeff Binder. “Together with T-Mobile, we’re going to ditch everything you hate about cable and make everything you love about TV better.”
Layer3 has raised more than $80 million from such investors as Evolution Media Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners.
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