T-Mobile Adds Video Providers Including NBC to 'Binge On' Data-Free Streaming

Carrier Now Has More Than 80 Video Providers on Board

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Aaron Paul appears in T-Mobile advertising for its Binge On program.
Aaron Paul appears in T-Mobile advertising for its Binge On program.  Credit: T-Mobile via YouTube

Last November, T-Mobile announced Binge On, a program that lets some of the wireless carrier's customers stream video from 24 services including Netflix, Hulu and HBO without sapping their wireless data plans.

On Tuesday the company expanded that network of video providers to more than 80, including NBC, Google Play Music (it had already announced Google Play Movies), Noggin, Radio Disney, Spotify, Tidal and Univision.

Subscribers with certain plans can watch the videos free of LTE data charges using what the company calls "DVD quality" 480p resolution.

Other participating video partners at the start included ESPN, HBO, Netflix, Hulu, Showtime and Dish Network's internet TV service Sling TV. The carrier also said it would stream video from its rivals' digital video services, Verizon's Go90 and AT&T's DirecTV.

Customers have streamed more than 377 million hours of video through the program since its introduction, T-Mobile said in a statement. Binge On has also become a significant part of T-Mobile's marketing aimed at luring subscribers from rival telecom carriers, using ads starring actor Aaron Paul to promote it.

"In the six months since we launched Binge On, the number of video providers streaming free without using your data has grown more than 240%," John Legere, president-CEO of T-Mobile, said in a statement. "We've got something for everyone, and customers never have to worry about getting slammed with ridiculous overage penalties." In a jab at Verizon and AT&T, he added: "I hope Dumb and Dumber just keep pushing their mobile video schemes, it just gives consumers more and more reason to come to T-Mobile!"

The service is also free to the video providers, according to T-Mobile. That would appear to help it skirt concerns about violating net neutrality principles. The Federal Communications Commission's Open Internet rules prohibit internet service providers from blocking, slowing down or getting paid to improve the distribution of content to customers accessing the internet through their networks.

"We think it's highly net neutrality-friendly," Mr. Legere said when introducing Binge On six months ago.

Binge On is part of T-Mobile's larger effort to do "data differently," the company's statement said, which includes letting customers hang on to unused data for a year rather than lose it each month. T-Mobile also lets customers use their data in 140 countries without access fees or penalties.

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