Sprint TV Brings Cable Networks to the iPhone—Still Insists on Bundling Channels

Illustration for article titled Sprint TV Brings Cable Networks to the iPhone—Still Insists on Bundling Channels

$10 a month to get Comedy Central and ESPN streaming live on my iPhone? Woot! But I have to subscribe to Fox News and MTV to get them? Dammit.


Sprint announced an exclusive offering to its iPhone customers (you know, the one's it paid $15.5 billion for)—SprintTV, a streaming service that features live programming from some of cable's biggest networks.

After downloading the app from iTunes, users will have access to ESPN Mobile, Disney, ABC, NBC, CBS and others. For $10/month, Sprint TV adds Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, and Fox News. Sprint is offering 40 paid packages in total including a spanish-language bundle for $7/month and children's-programming for $5/month. Users will also need an unlimited data plan in order to use the app though it is compatible with both the iPhone and iPad.

But seriously, how dense can Sprint be? Consumers have been complaining for years about cable's absurd requirements to subscribe to unwanted channels in order to obtain the programming the consume actually wants and here's Sprint. Doing the exact same damn thing on a new platform. It's like they're trying to fail. [Sprint via 9 to 5 Mac]



A few important warnings with this app:

It does not use Apple's in-App Purchases feature. With just two button taps, you could be adding a monthly subscription of up to $9.99 per month per bundle or channel to your Sprint wireless account.

Because it does not use iAP, parental controls nor your iTunes password won't prevent anyone from adding a subscription charge to your account.

Also, because it does not use iAP, shared iTunes accounts (and therefore multiple iOS devices) may not benefit from a single purchase. I have not verified that subscribing to a channel will work on all iOS devices under one Sprint account.

Lastly, the app is flooded with unlockable channels in the guide and the interface with only a few freebies, and there's no way to filter them out off the screen, so they make it really easy to throw some extra charges to your monthly bill.

First launch has to be done on Sprint's 3G network for some reason. Turn off Wi-Fi or disassociate from a Wi-Fi network. Subsequent launches will work over 3G or Wi-Fi.


P.S. Why use an image of an iPad? Sprint only has iPhones on their network (to date).