MobileESPN Runs TV Ads with Full-length College Football

espnmobile.jpgMobile video content providers are testing all sorts of offerings to determine what wireless users will and won’t watch on their phones. Until now, when it comes to video, most have stuck with bite-size TV show clips or music videos.

Now, according to a Washington Post story, “ESPN Mobile plans to announce today that it will broadcast full-length college football games on its wireless phones.”

When we here at ClickZ read stuff like that, our immediate response is, “is there an ad component?” Often when it comes to mobile the answer is no. If anything, a sponsorship might be involved.

It turns out ESPN’s new offering adds a twist to the old story, not only because the firm is distributing extra-long-form content via mobile, but because it will run some of the broadcast ads within the mobile-cast as they run on TV. I spoke with ESPN Manager, Communications Rebecca Gertsmark who told me that “Ads with clearance from TV advertisers will be shown as they appear on TV during the game. Ads that don’t have mobile clearance will be replaced with house ads.”

The company will provide the football game content to Mobile ESPN Total Sports Package subscribers, who pay $25 in addition to voice calling plans for sports content, video, alerts, text messaging and wireless Internet access.

As for the full-length game offer, Gertsmark added, “This is something we’re just starting…at this point it’s a little bit of a ‘let’s see how this thing plays out.’ ”

UPDATE: ESPN says at this time, there will be no additional charge to TV advertisers running ads in the mobile-cast.

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