More TV for your cell phone

Janet Babin Mar 1, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: I don’t know why people watch TV on their cell phones, but I guess some people do. There’s word today that Verizon Wireless will start offering entire shows within a few days. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.

JANET BABIN: Clips of TV shows on your cell phone are widely available, but BusinessWeek reports that Verizon will soon offer mobile users entire programs from Comedy Central, Fox and MTV.

Communications attorney Robert Rini with Rini Coran expects mobile TV will eventually become ubiquitous. But he says a few roadblocks remain. More consumers have to buy TV-ready portable devices.

And then there’s the TV networks.

ROBERT RINI: An additional hurdle is the willingness of content providers to put their programming on these mobile devices. Once the content is out there, it’s outside the traditional channels of distribution.

But Rini says networks are warming to mobile content. Some rural areas still can’t offer mobile TV, but wireless broadband service has grown significantly in the last year.

Verizon subscribers will likely pay at least $15 more each month for the cell phone TV service.

I’m Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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