Amazingly Enough: People Don't Want To Pay To Watch Broadcast TV On Their Mobile Phones

from the who-woulda-thunk-it? dept

Back in 2004, with mobile companies left and right announcing plans to launch premium-priced broadcast TV services for mobile phones, some of us were wondering who would actually pay for such a thing? After all, you were talking about a tiny screen and people on the go who likely didn't have the time to sit and watch an entire TV program. Even more importantly, in the age of both time-shifting and internet video, it's increasingly less important to be able to see a TV program right now, when you can catch up later. Yet, that didn't stop many companies from throwing billions into such projects, spurred on by analyst reports predicting huge revenue to come. Yet, after all these years, it seems that mobile operators are finally realizing that people just aren't that interested -- especially if it costs extra. It's no surprise why mobile operators ignored all the warning signs. Analyst firms were singing the praises of mobile data services and warning any operator that didn't jump on the bandwagon that they'd be left behind. Yet, at some point, you'd think it would make sense for the mobile operators and the analysts hyping this stuff up to take a step back and see if what they were pitching actually had any value to users.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 12:53am

    Dee Dee Dee

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Macca, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:00am

    I've been able to access my full Sky package on my mobile phone via network operator three and a slingbox for over a year now. I think I pay an extra fiver a month for the ability. I wouldn't pay more - the price point is about right. Just because you 'can' do something doesn't mean you will. It has been handy a few times for catching up on a football game when out and about - but other than that is used very rarely.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    darrylxxx, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:39am

    Always struck me as strange. If there is so much free-to-air broadcasting in the UK (freeview), why wouldn't someone create a device to watch in on the move, for free? Paying for it through a greedy mobile company was never a possibility in my case.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 4:08am

    Re:

    "If there is so much free-to-air broadcasting in the UK (freeview),"

    Just a minor correction there. It's not free, it's paid for via an enforced TV licensing subscription.

     

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  5.  
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    Hellsvilla, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 4:23am

    There's sooo much!

    There's so much that I don't want to watch on tv that I even canceled my cable services! I would just laugh at anyone who tried to sell me a cable like subscription on my phone...

    Now if you manage to get ahold of some device that can fit in a pocket, AND pickup OTA transmissions, then you might be on to something, but the only party that will get rich off of that is the manufacturer... and since the market for mobile phones in this country is so tightly held by the wireless telcos, they'll prolly markup the hell out of it too.

     

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  6.  
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    John S, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 4:58am

    TV on Phones

    The logical business plan would next be to pass a law that you must watch TV on phones. It has a history that has worked in the past . If your new product isn't wanted get the Government to pass a law insisting it be used.

     

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  7.  
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    Alaric, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 6:03am

    Bucking Major Trends --- not so smart

    audio/video is going the way of on demand and streaming over internet.

    But the carriers tried to force feed a poor quality broadcast service.

    I'm thinking the carriers should continue to work on beefing up the capabilities of their network and forget about platforms for mobile TV.

     

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  8.  
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    Jim, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 7:56am

    Duh!

    Come on! why is anyone surprised at this?

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Jim, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 8:14am

    Re:

    Please. Do the world a favor and quit supporting/encouraging that kind of low brow humor. Dan Whitney, Ned Mencia and their like are no small part of what's wrong with our nation.

     

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  10.  
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    StevenMF, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 8:40am

    Pay Phone TV

    Every time I see the request to soend $9 a month (or whatever) to watch Cartoon Network or ESPN on my 2" phone screen I chuckle. Who thought this would fly? Lunacy

     

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  11.  
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    sonofdot, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    It's not just me?

    For a very long time, I thought I was the only person who couldn't think of any reason why someone would want to watch TV on a cell phone. Since I also couldn't think of a good reason to text message, I just chalked it up to being an old curmudgeon. After reading this post, and the comments, I guess maybe I'm not alone, at least regarding TV on cell phones.

    Welcome, curmudgeons!

     

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  12.  
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    CrepeSuzette, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 8:59am

    Interesting timing. T-mobile has inundated my message box with offers of free TV for a week on my mobile in the hopes that some people will become interested in signing up. The cheer volume of messages I received makes me wonder if anybody is using this at all, even for free.

     

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  13.  
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    Pro, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 10:06am

    Windows Media Encoder??

    A couple years back I spent a few months across the country. I found it very handy to stream Red Sox games to my treo 700w from my computer with a TV card back home using Windows Media Encoder.

    I get a laugh out of people that pay their phone company for video service, when the technology to get streaming video is already completely present on most phones.

     

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  14.  
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    Lally, Mar 7th, 2008 @ 1:56pm

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2008 @ 10:43pm

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  16.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Mar 18th, 2008 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Quite correct. Terrific value for money it is too! Since I've already paid for it, then I'd prefer to just pick it out of the air like my telly!

     

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  17.  
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    c charles, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:05am

    Tip for MobiTV

    The worse part is that a company like MobiTV thinks that watching a TV show on a cell phone is a necessary means of to life, and that people will not mind paying ten bucks a month for it, WRONG!

    Charging $9.99 a month for a luxury item like this, on top of already high mobile phone bill, is not a smart business move.

    This is a good tip for MobiTV....

    REDUCE YOUR PRICE AND YOU WILL INCREASE YOUR CUSTOMER BASE, THUS INCREASING PROFITABILITY.

    Simple Economics 101

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    c charles, Jan 27th, 2010 @ 8:06am

    Tip for MobiTV

    The worse part is that a company like MobiTV thinks that watching a TV show on a cell phone is a necessary means of to life, and that people will not mind paying ten bucks a month for it, WRONG! Charging $9.99 a month for a luxury item like this, on top of already high mobile phone bill, is not a smart business move. This is a good tip for MobiTV.... REDUCE YOUR PRICE AND YOU WILL INCREASE YOUR CUSTOMER BASE, THUS INCREASING PROFITABILITY. Simple Economics 101 http://automatichybrid.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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