Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Cingular Launches On-Demand Mobile TV

TechNewsWorld reports that Cingular Wireless "launched an on-demand streaming video service with a selection of content from providers including Fox and HBO." The service will allow consumers to watch video clips of "television shows, sports, news and weather, entertainment and premium content on their high-speed 3G Cingular phones."

Cingular Video will provide sports content from ESPN, FOX Sports, FUEL and SPEED, local weather forecasts in 100 cities across the country, "trailers of popular series, like "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost," children's television programming from the Cartoon Network and Disney Channel, and music videos."

Weston Hendereks at Current Analysis believed "content will be the market differentiator," and "currently, Cingular has one of the widest selections on the market through content deals with major broadcasters. Cingular Video is the only service to offer Fox News clips in addition to news broadcasts from CNN and NBC. Cingular Video also offers exclusive content from HBO Mobile and HBO Family Mobile."

Henderek said, "One of the areas that's going to slow down the adoption of mobile TV is securing broadcasting rights, but the carriers who can secure broadcast rights have more of an opportunity for uniqueness in their service. If they get rights to something that no one else has and it's a hot area, then that gives them an advantage."

Of course, there is a catch to all this mobile TV goodness. The service will cost "$20 a month and $99 for the actual smartphone, plus a two-year contract." Plus it seems like you will need a subscription to Cingular's 3G data plan, which means add another $20+, and that's a low-end estimate

Hmmm. This sounds like it will almost approach the monthly cost of my DirecTV subscription. So why would I want this?