Discovery Upset About Its Networks On Extra Pay T-Mobile TVision Tier

Discovery Inc. has a major issue with T-Mobile’s new TVision pay TV service, which has put Discovery networks on a separate extra $10-a-month pay tier.

The TVision Vibe service -- which includes non-sports, non-broadcast networks -- costs $10 a month. This would be in addition to the TVision Live main $40-a-month service.

TVision was recently launched.

In a third-quarter earnings call with analysts, David Zaslav, president and chief executive officer of Discovery Inc, said:

“We were very surprised with how T-Mobile decided that they were going to bundle our networks, particularly because we have a clear agreement where our networks are required to be carried on all their basic tiers' OTT offerings.”

“So let's just characterize it this way. We're in active discussions with them to quickly resolve that issue. We don't believe they have the right to do what they're doing right now.”

Discovery Inc. networks on the TVision Vibe service include Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV and TLC.

Pure cable TV network groups (no broadcast networks, no sports channels) have had a harder time getting carriage on new virtual pay TV providers, as those service look to offer low-cost, so-called “skinny” bundles of TV network programming.

But Zaslav says Discovery has largely done well.

“The good news for us is we're on all platforms and we probably have the best carriage in terms of skinny bundles,” he said “We've done very well in all of our renewals and getting everything carried.”

With regard to T-Mobile’s move, he added: “If, in addition to that, someone wants to take the great content that we have and offer it [to consumers] in a smaller bundle for less money, that's good, but not that way.”

Responding to a Television News Daily inquiry, T-Mobile spokesperson says:  
"The TV business has a lot of pain points to solve! We also want to be a great partner to media companies. We are of course complying with our content agreements, and we are absolutely open to evolving our services to make them even better for consumers." 



TVision Vibe features more than 30 channels -- which in addition to the Discovery networks includes AMC, Hallmark, and Viacom cable networks such as MTV and BET.

TVision's standard package, TVision Live, for $40/month, offer 35 channels including ABC, Fox, NBC, Turner, and ESPN, as well as live news and sports channels.

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