NBC Universal will partner with MobiTV to offer on demand episodes of its
most popular shows to subscribers of its streaming television service
starting at $1.99 per episode 24 hours after airtime on top of
charges for service and data access with the capability to pause and
resume at a later time, although only certain phones and devices will
support resuming when the service is initially launched in the second
quarter of this year.
NBC Universal will also offer short form programming and
ad-supported channels from USA Networks, Telemundo, Bravo, Sci-Fi
Channel, and mun2. A linear live feed of CNBC will be offered as a part
of the online MobiTV subscription package.
This marks the first time a major television network is offering on
demand programming outside of the internet and is expected to become
another revenue stream for carriers outside of voice calls.
By doing this, carriers and content providers hope to get people to
watch television on their phone, which has so far failed to capture the
interest of the average wireless consumer, presumably due to limited
content, high prices, and small screens, which make watching such
content unintuitive and inconvenient.
No carriers were announced as providers of the new service.
Sprint-Nextel, AT&T, and Alltel all offer MobiTV as part of
their respective mobile television packages, but NBC Universal and
MobiTV did not make any comments as to which carriers would offer the
on demand service.