Mobile TV provider MobiTV is one of the earliest and biggest companies working in mobile television and video-on-demand. Earlier this year, it claimed that over 7 million people were subscribed to its various services around the world. And today, it reveals that last week was its most successful ever in terms of live events – which was driven entirely by sports, as it streamed 59 different events.
What’s the story?
MobiTV is a service provider – it sells its media delivery product to operators and networks, and they deliver TV content over that platform. It has deals in place with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon in the states. In recent months, more and more sports have been branching into mobile TV – including some of the American big leagues like hockey, football and basketball. And it’s partly mainly due to the NFL that MobiTV clocked up so much use last week. The NFL season kicked off on Sunday 12th, and it’s MobiTV-powered application broadcast the games over mobile:
- Including NFL games, MobiTV streamed 59 live events last week – amounting to over 170 hours of programming.
- The NFL was the biggest source, but College Football and NASCAR came in close behind.
- MobiTV reports that the length of viewing sessions have doubled on average, and subscribers have increased 30 percent in 2010.
- There’s more to come. The College Football coverage is part of the ESPN Mobile application (powered by MobiTV), which will be streaming over 130 games over the season.
What we think?
Mobile TV is going in a lot of different directions and it’s hard to see where it will end up. Building actual TV antennas into mobiles didn’t really work out – the space requirements are too large. American TV studios are trying to create a consolidated approach to the market (or, at least, they claim they are). While app-based services like MobiTV seem to be doing well, they are incredibly dependent on high-tech smartphones and high-speed networks – so, pretty much limited to very developed markets. And even then, the majority of people in very developed markets don’t own good enough phones for this kind of thing. Mobile app-based TV is growing slowly, but by the time the actual market is ready for it, it may find that browser-based options have passed it out.