BSkyB in 3G Mobile TV Deal

Satellite broadcaster BSkyB and mobile phone giant Vodafone has launched a TV service for mobile phones in the UK. From today, Sky Mobile TV allows Vodafone customers to view some of BSkyB’s TV content on their 3G handsets.

The deal will also give BSkyB access to new markets as it seeks to move beyond satellite TV broadcasting.
‘Triple play’ In an effort to expand its customer base, BSkyB recently purchased internet firm Easynet for £211m.
That deal gave BSkyB access to the so-called “triple play” bandwagon of broadband, telephony and satellite TV services. BSkyB’s latest deal will give the company access to Vodafone’s 250,000 3G subscribers in the UK.

“This is an innovative service that complements our existing pay-TV activities, extends the reach of Sky content and delivers an additional stream of revenue,” said BSkyB chief operating officer Richard Freudenstein.

Tim Yates, Vodafone UK’s chief marketing officer, added: “This is a highly significant day for both the mobile and television industries.”

Vodafone’s Sky Mobile TV service offers two packages broadcasting a combined total of 19 channels carrying news, sport, music and documentary programmes.

However, Mr Freudenstein said that some of Sky One’s programmes, including popular shows 24 and Weeds, would not be available because of difficulties in obtaining the mobile rights. This is a developing technology, so some of the channels do not have rights at this stage,” he said.

The service will be free to Vodafone customers until 31 January 2006, after which date it will cost £5 a month.