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T-Mobile CEO: 'What we’re doing on the TV side is making a big investment'

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert joins Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman and Brian Sozzi to discuss the launch of the company's new TV streaming services.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: Want to highlight T-Mobile shares here, in the green, up by about 1% in the afternoon trade after the big announcement and their move to finally take on cable companies. It's a much anticipated move into announcing an over the top alternative here to take on these cable companies. And a lot of people are frustrated with prices there with TVision. Kind of the core-end options starting at just $10 per month, additional options include live sports and news starting at $40 a month, as well as a separate TVision hub device to have all this magic happen here.

So for more on the big move, want to bring on the CEO of T-Mobile, Mike Sievert joins us now, alongside Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi. And Mike, just a first question to you, I mean, this is a big move, has a lot of people talking. So why now, and how big is this for T-Mobile?

MIKE SIEVERT: Well, obviously, TV has never been more relevant or important than this year. You know 74%, that's the number that TV consumption has gone up in certain months this year versus the prior year. So it's on everybody's minds. And you know what? We call this TV done right. Because in this country, TV is so not done right.

2/3 of people are still stuck with big cable, and they're paying $190 a month on average, including all those fees, well, we charge less than you just pay for the unadvertised fees over there at big cable. It's time for change in this industry, and that's what the Un-carrier does. We bring change.

BRIAN SOZZI: Mike, you have a lot going on at the company. You're still integrating Sprint. You had the new Apple 5G phone roll out. How big is the team that you have committed to this TV world, and how serious is it?

MIKE SIEVERT: Well, we're very serious about it. Like every Un-carrier move, what we do is we make a big investment in consumers. And it always looks, when we first do these things, like, how can they be doing that? That seems disruptive, that seems like it will cost them a fortune. But then it comes back to us in the form of people switching to us from AT&T and Verizon, staying with us longer, deepening their relationships with us.

So that's where the real profit pool is on this. It's on the wireless side. What we're doing on the TV side is making a big investment, passing through our scale advantages to the customer, doing what we always do, changing the rules of an industry and putting customers first. You can cut the cord from just $10 a month. And that's a breakthrough.

BRIAN SOZZI: Mike, do you have any ambitions to go head to head with the Netflix here? Do you want to create original programming?

MIKE SIEVERT: No. In fact, we're an ally to people that create original programming. This is a pure play wireless and network company. And we're not confused about that. Today's move is about serving people even better in that space. And, you know, this is just huge. I mean, so many people have looked at this space, and they're either stuck in cable paying all that money and having all that complexity of big boxes and, you know, bloated bills.

This industry makes you buy all kinds of things you don't want just to get the things you do want. You know, 80% of people are still with big cable because of what? Live news and sports. That's why they're stuck at big cable. We've got live news and sports with TVision Live, starting at just $40 a month. And so, obviously, this is a big day for consumers who love TV. And people have never loved their TV more than they have in 2020.

ZACK GUZMAN: Yeah, and Mike, I mean, the other big piece of this too is coming down the line. I mean, we talk about Sprint, and Sozzi just asked about it, and 5G plans, how this all might bundle together. I mean, for people like me, who have never paid for cable, it's not a question of cutting the cord, but it's just the option of cheaper options out there now.

So with TVision, talking about how rural areas and how 5G make this a very enticing offer to people who normally might just look at cable providers for Wi-Fi and then turn to other streaming options out there, how does this kind of put it all together?

MIKE SIEVERT: Well, you know, as we sit here today, we have 5G covered in 1.4 million square miles of this country. That's more than AT&T and Verizon combined as we sit here today. And the highest capacity 5G that we offer is available to more than 25 million people. And we'll be at more than 100 million by the end of this year.

So no one's committed to rural America with 5G like T-Mobile is committed. And that's going to be huge, not just for your mobile devices, on your smartphones and tablets, but for home internet as well. Because millions of households, in fact, almost half of all households in this country have no choice when it comes to true high speed broadband for their house. They have one option or none.

We're going to change all that because we're bringing 5G, not just to your mobile devices, but to your home. And we're going to be a viable additional option for home internet connectivity. Today's announcement is a great complement to that strategy because what do people want with their internet connection at home? Video.

BRIAN SOZZI: And it should be noted, of course, that Verizon is the parent company of Yahoo Finance. Mike, I cannot let you go without asking about just the competitive environment with the Apple 5G rollout. What are your plans there, and what have you seen with the 5G preorders so far?

MIKE SIEVERT: Well, it's an exciting time. I tell you, this launch by Apple last week is really the starting gun of the 5G race. This is going to be a decade-long era, just like the 4G era was that started in 2010. And you know, Verizon got out early. And they established network leadership in 4G, LTE.

Well, that's what T-Mobile's doing in the 5G era. We're so far ahead of the other guys, and we have assets now thanks to this merger that allow us to stay ahead. And that's going to be to the benefit of customers. You know, this industry has always made people pick between, do you want the best value, or do you want the best network? Well, in the 5G era, T-Mobile is uniquely positioned for the first time ever to offer you both.

ZACK GUZMAN: And now offering a cable competitor here as well. A lot of people were waiting for it. Well, today's the day, out there now beginning November 1 for postpaid T-Mobile customers there. Mike Sievert, appreciate you taking the time to join us, along with Yahoo Finance's Brian Sozzi. Thanks again.

MIKE SIEVERT: It's my pleasure, guys.