T-Mobile is now in the advanced stages of integrating Sprint, the wireless competitor it paid $31 billion to acquire a year ago. T-Mobile isn't offering its new unlimited customers free access to two major SVOD services going forward.
"Legacy Sprint customers with an active free Hulu promotion can continue to enjoy Hulu on us," a T-Mobile rep told Next TV.
Since 2017, Sprint has offered new unlimited wireless data customers free access to the $5.99-a-month base version of Hulu. But with the merger, there are no more "new" Sprint customers.
On the internet, prospective Sprint customers are now directed to T-Mobile’s main landing page, where they can choose from a variety of T-Mobile “Essentials”- and “Magenta”-branded unlimited wireless calling and data plans. Each of these plans offers “Netflix on Us,” a promotion that delivers free access to Netflix’s base $8.99 tier.
We—perhaps naively!—pondered the possibility a year ago of T-Mobile unlimited plans underwriting basic offerings for two major SVOD platforms.
That dream was nice. But it's dead now.
T-Mobile has had its Netflix on Us promotion in place since 2017. And it had been offering free access to the $4.99-a-month Quibi platform until that service went belly-up last year.
Sprint established its own promotional deal with Hulu in 2017, when the subscription video service was still a joint venture between Comcast, Disney, a pre-Disney-owned Fox and the erstwhile Time Warner Inc. To be eligible for the promotion, Sprint customers must not only subscribe to the base ad-supported version of Hulu, they can't also bundle Hulu with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus--a major tentpole to new controlling owner Disney's go-to-market digital strategy.
T-Mobile’s video strategy has evolved quickly of late. The wireless company just scrapped its six-month-old virtual pay TV service, TVision, and its now marketing Google’s vMVPD, YouTube TV, as well as skinny live streaming bundle Philo, to its unlimited and fixed 5G wireless customers.
Notably, T-Mobile confirmed last week that it’s just launched fixed 5G service, T-Mobile Home Internet, doesn’t support Hulu’s vMVPD, Hulu + Live TV.
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