Would you pay to watch sports video on your cell phone?

    by Mark Glaser
    June 8, 2006

    As the World Cup kicks off in Germany today, there are many mobile services in Europe that are promising to let people watch soccer matches or highlights as they happen. One research firm, Informa, predicted that these mobile broadcasts would bring in $300 million in revenues, particularly in soccer-mad Germany and Italy. So my question to you is whether you’d pay a charge to watch live sports action — or even highlights — on your cell phone. Which sport would you pay for — soccer, American football, hockey, college hoops — and how much would you be willing to pay? Or do you think TV over mobile phones is not something you care for, and the screen is too small? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and I’ll run the best ones in next week’s Your Take Roundup.

    • Rahul Bhide

      I would pay to watch highlights or short clips of sports like soccer, Formula 1 or the Paris-Capetown rally on my cell phone. It would be nice if the carrier has some sort of package where I can use GPRS instead of WiFi, and not pay extra for transfer/access.

    • I am a very home grown sports fan in Chicago. South Side. That means White Sox (though I don’t mind if the Cubbies go all the way as long as they don’t beat the White Sox in the process), da Bears, and the Bulls. The violence that has been the mainstay of pro-hockey has turned me off mostly, though I do like the prices and atmosphere of a considerably less expensive Kane County Cougars game every once in awhile.

      However, I do not live and die from game to game, unlike some. So for me, the need to have games broadcast to my cell phone is non-existent.

      I will probably change my thinking on this when the 2005 World Champion White Sox hit the playoffs on their way to taking the 2006 Championship, unless it turns out that you cannot see the darned ball on the screen, or tell a ball from a strike. In that case, what’s the point? You might as well get a small portable TV with batteries.

      Does that mean that my lack of interest should squelch what looks like a highly profitable source of income for the cell industry? With the amount of illegal sports gambling going on in this country, I don’t think they have anything to worry about, though they probably should consider a scores update channel or some way for sports viewers to inexpensively switch from game to game, just like TV. Then they will really have them.

      It’s a good thing that these are U.S. companies and can’t take bets too. LOL

      Chief Spell Wrecker, The Peter Files Blog of Commentary and Comedy

    • BIll

      I would definitely pay for live access to sports events. Probably as a season subscription as opposed to any other models.

    • It depends, I am not a big enough sports fan personally, but I can understand the appeal.

      When I used to work in an oil refinery, we had a huge bill from calls to the UK equivalent to a 900 number. We called the number and it turned out to be a live cricket reportage. We got a radio that covered long wave transmissions for the finance director and the calls stopped.

      In order for sport to work on a mobile device the content needs to be adapted for that format, think about how hard it is to follow many ball sports like tennis, cricket, baseball or an ice hocky puck. If the media adapts to these limitations we could see a new golden age of sports reporting not seen since the golden days of radio.

    • bob

      What cell phone??

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