A new live mobile TV product from Verizon Wireless is now officially available. The subscription-based service, provided through Qualcomm’s wireless network, is being offered initially in 20 markets. Eight 24-hour channels will display live and time-shifted programming from CBS Mobile, ESPN, Fox Mobile, NBC 2Go and NBC News 2Go, in addition to Viacom’s MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon.
“We believe the market’s been ready for quite a while,” for the live mobile TV product, said Jeffrey Nelson, executive director of corporate communications at Verizon Wireless. V Cast Mobile TV, originally announced in January, will be offered in 20 mainly Midwestern and Western U.S. markets, including Tuscon, Spokane and Chicago, as well as Jacksonville and Norfolk-Richmond.
More markets are anticipated pending FCC approval, added Nelson. “We expect a number throughout the country to come live in the next several weeks and months,” he said. The new subscription-based product is available on its own for $15 per month, or in addition to Verizon’s V Cast music and video clip service for $25 monthly. The V Cast service offers clips from ABC News, SI.com, and CGM video competitors YouTube and Revver. The company won’t reveal V Cast subscriber numbers.
Some shows featured on the new service will be broadcast live, while others will run at alternate times. “Those are the programmers’ choices, the brands’ choices,” Nelson told ClickZ News.
Nelson declined to confirm whether or not ads seen on its content partners’ television broadcasts will appear in the same manner in the Mobile TV service. “We’ve obviously tested all this out over the last year and are really comfortable with our model,” he said.
Other live mobile TV offerings are gaining ground. MobiTV offers live mobile TV products, and Modeo has introduced its live wireless TV offering in beta. In May 2006, Telephia found over 2 million wireless users were subscribing to mobile TV services. MobiTV this week announced it alone had reached 2 million subscribers.
Qualcomm reportedly plans on enabling AT&T Inc.’s Cingular Wireless mobile TV service later this year. Qualcomm has also signed agreements to power live mobile offerings from Control Room, in addition to programming from British Sky Broadcasting in the U.K.
UPDATE: In the original version of this story, Control Room was referred to by its former name, Network Live, a previous collaboration of AOL and XM Satellite Radio. Control Room is not affiliated with AOL or XM Satellite Radio.