T-Mobile’s new streaming TV bundle makes a lot of sense

Three years after promising to “disrupt” the TV industry, T-Mobile finally has a streaming service worth caring about.

T-Mobile’s new TVision service is cheaper and more flexible than other live streaming options such as YouTube TV and Hulu + Live TV, mainly because it puts news, sports, and local channels into a separate bundle from most other entertainment channels. T-Mobile’s also launching its own streaming device, called the TVision Hub, whose remote control and interface resemble what you’d get with a cable box. That could make it an inviting gateway to cord-cutting for folks who don’t want to lose familiar cable features.

Does any of this qualify as disruptive? Perhaps not, but it still represents what live TV streaming needs right now.

TVision channels and details

Here’s the TVision channel list:

  • TVision Live ($40 per month): NBC, ABC, Fox, Telemundo, ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, FS2, NBCSN, ABC News Live, CNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, HLN, MSNBC, NBC News Now, Bravo, Cozi, E!, FX, FXX, Nat Geo Oxygen, SyFy, TBS, TNT, TruTV, USA, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and Freeform.
  • TVision Live+ ($50 per month): Everything above, plus ACC Network, Big Ten Network, ESPN College Extra, ESPNews, ESPNU, Golf Channel, NFL Network, Olympic Channel, SEC Network, Nat Geo Wild, TCM, and regional NBC Sports channels where available.
  • TVision Live Zone ($60 per month): Everything above, plus Longhorn Network, MavTV, NFL Redzone, Outside TV, CNBC World, Fox Deportes, ESPN Deportes, and Universo.
  • TVision Vibe ($10 per month): AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BET, BET Her, CMT, Comedy Central, Discovery, DIY Network, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Drama, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, HGTV, IFC Investigation, Discovery, Motortrend, MTV, MTV Classic, MTV2, OWN, Paramount Network, Sundance TV, TLC, Travel Channel, TV Land, VH1, WE TV, BBC World News, Nick Jr, Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, and Teennick.
  • Add-ons: Starz ($9 per month), Showtime ($11 per month), Epix ($6 per month)

One caveat: While TVision will carry local NBC stations nationwide, some markets may only have local coverage from either ABC or Fox, not both. In those cases, T-Mobile will supply a national feed from the missing station, so you’ll still get primetime programming, daytime shows, national news, and sports. (You can check your local lineup here.)

With the $40-and-up “Live” plans, T-Mobile is including 100 hours of cloud DVR and the ability to watch on up to three devices at a time. The cheaper “Vibe” plan will support up to two simultaneous streams, and DVR will be a $5 per month add-on.

For device support, TVision will work with Fire TV, Android TV, the new Chromecast with Google TV, Apple TV, iOS, and Android at launch. T-Mobile told CNet that it’s working on Roku support, but wouldn’t commit to a timeframe.

TVision is launching on November 1 for T-Mobile wireless customers and later in the month for Sprint customers. Those who sign up for TVision’s $50-and-up plans by the end of this year can get a free year of Apple TV+ and an Apple TV 4K for $99, which is an $80 discount.