Now, It's The Next World Cup That Will Make Mobile TV A Success

from the still-waiting dept

Perhaps the most notable thing about mobile TV is how it's been right on the cusp of huge market success (if you believe its cheerleaders) for about five years. The fact remains that mobile TV isn't popular, and people just don't seem interested. But don't worry: the 2010 World Cup will make mobile TV popular, at least in Africa, says an exec from Nokia Siemens. Of course, that's the same thing people said before the Beijing Olympics, before the Euro 2008 soccer tournament, and before the last World Cup in 2006. What's different this time around? Apparently the fact that it's being held in South Africa will drive mobile TV adoption on the continent -- but in markets like Kenya, where the average monthly mobile spend is $4-$7, it's still hard to see much future for the services.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2009 @ 8:17pm

    If cell phone subscriptions included unlimited data plans by default and such things were streamed for free without a bunch of hassles, streaming to phones would be wildly successful. Until that happens, no one will care.

     

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  2.  
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    Ima Fish, May 11th, 2009 @ 8:29pm

    "if you believe its cheerleaders"

    Mmmmm.... cheerleaders!

     

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  3.  
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    Techsupoort, May 12th, 2009 @ 2:17am

    TV-Mobile Supports

    There is not much else to add here, except maybe for the fact that the company's subscribers can rejoice knowing that it can solve their problems so quickly.

     

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  4.  
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    R. Miles, May 12th, 2009 @ 4:35am

    Best watch out for those "unlimited" plans.

    Because soccer matches are long, and streaming even "highlights" can be costly for these people, even on an "unlimited" plan.

    Soccer may be the world's most popular sport, but I seriously doubt TV shows (especially full games) will be as such.

    On a side note, I wonder if AT&T's recent "cap" on "unlimited" has to do with trying to push their TV services, which aren't governed by these caps of streaming sites like YouTube?

     

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  5.  
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    Pangolin (profile), May 12th, 2009 @ 4:42am

    You missed the boat

    In South Korea mobile TV is ubiquitous. This is because the Digital TV receivers are built into the cell phones. No data plan needed. Since it's digital and the signals are broadcast - they watch TV everywhere - all the time - even while driving. Anyway - the holdup for this in the US has been the Analog TV system. Now that we are digital we can add the TV to the cell phones with ease and Mobile TV WILL take off in this country.

     

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  6.  
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    Wilhelm Busch, May 12th, 2009 @ 5:45am

    Mobile TV

    Phone makers have had DVB-T tuners for moblie available for years, but I would not be holding my breath waiting for any telco either there or here(au) to be selling any phone with such a device, not while they are trying to sell people snack tv clips at laughable amounts. Which probably also explains why none of the leading phone manufactures have yet to bring a device to market.

     

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  7.  
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    Blenster (profile), May 12th, 2009 @ 5:56am

    Asia

    As Pangolin mentioned mobile TV is wildly popular in Asian markets. In Japan everyone has a mobile TV enabled device (sometimes more than one). Their cell-phones are far more capable than ours (for a variety of reasons). I think these features and functionality would be popular here if they were put on the market however the infrastructure for some of these is lacking. That being said, I don't think there's a problem with the idea (i.e. screen too small, etc.) so much as a general lack of awareness as to what's already out there in foreign markets. If non-Asian market consumers were more aware of the capabilities of these other handsets I believe the demand would grow rapidly.

     

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  8.  
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    Tgeigs, May 12th, 2009 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    Lemmie fix that for you:

    Mmmmm....MOBILE cheerleaders!

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Mobile TV will never take off until it's like in some asian coiuntries where it's all broadcasters and phone companies agree and make devices that work with free over the air broadcasts, instead of companies trying to tie up the market with proprietary pay formats and paid exclusive content.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 12th, 2009 @ 10:11am

    Mobile TV will never take off until it's like in some asian coiuntries where it's all broadcasters and phone companies agree and make devices that work with free over the air broadcasts, instead of companies trying to tie up the market with proprietary pay formats and paid exclusive content.

     

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

  11.  
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    Mike (profile), May 12th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    Re: You missed the boat

    In South Korea mobile TV is ubiquitous. This is because the Digital TV receivers are built into the cell phones. No data plan needed. Since it's digital and the signals are broadcast - they watch TV everywhere - all the time - even while driving. Anyway - the holdup for this in the US has been the Analog TV system. Now that we are digital we can add the TV to the cell phones with ease and Mobile TV WILL take off in this country.

    Heh. Not really. Mobile TV may be available widely, but it doesn't get that much usage:

    http://www.techdirt.com/article.php?sid=20080812/1611021960&threaded=true

     

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  12.  
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    JEQP, May 12th, 2009 @ 1:43pm

    I don't know... since it's broadcast it really comes down to cost, and perhaps a place to watch. Are TV-enabled cheap enough to be a reasonable challenge to a full-size TV set, and how many people have problems actually finding a place to put a TV set where they can watch it in peace.

    Of course, most people watch football in a group, at a bar or something, so the World Cup won't be much of a draw...

     

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  13.  
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    Joe, May 12th, 2009 @ 7:01pm

    Gettin there

    I know mobile content is moving much slower in the US but the best mobile "live TV" I've seen to date was the 2009 Masters iPhone app. Granted it was only Amen corner, 4 holes for the non fans, but it was live TV on my phone and it provided a solution not available anywhere else... Due to its liveness of course!

     

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