It seems that mobile TV is not about to go mainstream anytime soon, and some analysts are doubtful that broadcast TV delivered over mobile networks will ever become a viable option.

There has been little enthusiasm among consumers for mobile TV, with just 1.2m people subscribing in some shape or form to a mobile TV 'product' over the past two years, according to Tim Farrar, president of Telecom Media and Finance Associates.

Farrar told Red Herring:

“It’s difficult to make a business case for mobile broadcast TV that can generate anything like the revenue you can get from cellular services.”

On, this view is echoed – there has not been enough customer uptake, just 0.6% of mobile users in the US, and 0.92% in the UK, and hence no ad income for mobile TV providers. As such, customers have to be charged for content they could otherwise watch free on TV, or via the internet.

A recent Gartner survey showed the lack of consumer enthusiasm for mobile TV; only 5% of Europeans are likely to watch mobile TV in the next 12 months. Operators may bundle mobile TV to force it into the mainstream, but it remains doubtful that it will lead to any incremental revenues.

Related stories:
Mobile operators launch TV trial in the UK 

Graham Charlton

Published 15 October, 2007 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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Comments (1)



I think your headline should be 'Future Bleak for BROADCAST Mobile TV'

Unicast mobile TV streamed on-demand over existing 2.5G, 3G and Wi-Fi networks is where the subscription revenues will come from - not full-form linear TV broadcast to mobiles.

Our on-demand mobile TV service is growing exponentially in uptake worldwide.


Bruce Renny
ROK Entertainment Group

almost 11 years ago

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