Friday, November 7, 2008

TV-enabled handsets. Are you ready for some football?

Last night (November 6) for the first time ever, a National Football League game between the Cleveland Browns vs. the Denver Broncos was broadcasted on Sprint mobile phones as part of the wireless company's exclusive partnership with the league. That partnership deal is valued at about $500 million over five years.

Sprint will phone-cast eight games that are televised solely on the NFL Network, the league's cable channel. In addition, Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unit has an exclusive sponsorship deal with the National Basketball Association.

The increasing availability of mobile handsets capable of receiving free-to-air analog and digital terrestrial TV signals will adversely impact the prospects for dedicated mobile broadcast TV networks. According to a new report from Juniper Research, more than 330 million mobile users worldwide will own broadcast TV-enabled handsets by 2013, yet less than 14% will opt for mobile pay TV services. Although mobile broadcast TV is expected to generate global annual end-user revenues of $2.7 billion by 2013, this level is markedly lower than previously forecast.

Meanwhile, Telegent Systems, the company that makes television mobile with its high-performance single-chip mobile TV solutions, together with Beijing Tianyu Communication Equipment Co., the leading original equipment manufacturer of mobile handsets in China, announced this week that Tianyu is increasing the number of handset designs leveraging mobile TV technology from Telegent to drive growth into the Southeast Asia market and capitalize on the popularity of analog TV phones in this region. Tianyu has also integrated Telegent's technology into the world's first hybrid CMMB and analog TV handset targeted at the domestic China market.

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