MobiTV Surpasses 6 Million Subscribers

In the highly expected growth mobile TV business, one of the bigger TV packagers of networks--MobiTV--says it has made some gains.

The Emeryville, Calif.-based company says it has passed 6 million subscribers and is now available on 350 different types of handsets, across 20 telecommunication networks, including AT&T and Alltel.

MobiTV executives credit big-event television--from the Beijing Olympics to the presidential election--as the catalyst that drove consumers. In addition, executives say better-receiving 3G networks and high-end video-enabled phones have also enhanced business.

MobiTV offers prime-time shows from NBC and ABC and more than 40 channels of content, including ESPN, Disney and MSNBC.

One of MobiTV's main competitors--Qualcomm's MediaFlo--has not yet revealed its exact number of subscribers. One mobile TV executive has reportedly said that MediaFlo has north of 100,000 subscribers. Last December, MediaFlo said it plans to expand its coverage from 63 metro areas serving 140 million subscribers to more than 100 markets serving 200 million by the close of 2009.

MediaFlo also noted that the delay in the move from analog to digital TV signals--from Feb. 17 to June 12--will cost it "tens of millions of dollars." The move would free up spectrum space to operate its mobile TV network.



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