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Why Did TVision Launch Two Separate Live TV Plans? They Acquired Programming Deals From PlayStation Vue

Jason Gurwin

When it first launched, TVision caught a lot of flack from content partners by packaging the service in two plans: TVision VIBE ($10) and TVision Live ($40+).

TVision VIBE featured 30+ of the most watched entertainment channels including those from ViacomCBS (MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, etc) and Discovery (HGTV, Food Network, etc.), as well as Hallmark and AMC — for $10 a month.

TVision Live, which starts at $40, is aimed at users who want live news and sports. It features a multitude of channels like ESPN, NBCSN, FS1, Bravo, and USA, as well as local affiliates from NBC, ABC, and Fox.

Soon after launch, we reported that Discovery, ViacomCBS, and NBCU had all filed complaints to T-Mobile over the two plans.

Yesterday, it was revealed that Dwayne Benefield, the former Head of PlayStation Vue, who has been in charge of T-Mobile’s TVision streaming service – was leaving to join Canadian telecom company Telus.

In an article by Light Reading, they reported that Benefield will oversee Telus’ home and entertainment division in his new role. Benefield told them it was a “difficult decision” to leave, but the new role gave him much wider responsibility.

So why did T-Mobile believe they could launch two separate plans?

Light Reading says that T-Mobile acquired programming and distribution rights associated with PlayStation Vue, which those familiar with the deal say was the basis for TVision Live. While channels in TVision VIBE rights were acquired previous to the PS Vue deal. Viacom and T-Mobile struck a deal to carry Viacom networks in 2019.

Our sources say that Discovery and ViacomCBS felt they should be in TVision Live ($40) in addition to TVision VIBE ($10), while NBCU believed their local affiliates should be included in TVision VIBE in addition to TVision Live.

Since, TVision has been including the channels in TVision VIBE for all those with TVision Live. Despite being billed as a limited time offer, we’ve heard from multiple sources that this is a permanent change.

While we’ve heard that TVision VIBE may be sunset at some point, the change was made to appease content partners, despite the fact that TVision did in fact have distribution deals that allowed them to run two separate plans.

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