3 Italy Buys A TV Station

Hutchison Whampoa’s 3 operator in the UK has been trying to cast itself as a media company to investors in the buildup to its IPO, but its Italian brother has taken things a step further by buying a TV station. 3 Italy’s bought a regional broadcaster in the country not for its existing station — which will be shut down — but for its nationwide digital TV license, which 3 will use for a DVB-H network to broadcast TV to mobile phones. 3 Italy already has streaming TV and movie content, which doesn’t sound too appealing, but streaming over the mobile network can be a pretty inefficient transport method. But streaming or broadcast, consumer interest in mobile TV isn’t high, while 3’s success has been built on cheap voice, not data services. 3 appears convinced that mobile TV is a golden ticket; we remain pretty skeptical.

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