For the first time Thursday, a National Football League game -- the Cleveland Browns vs. the Denver Broncos -- will be viewable on Sprint cellphones as part of the company's partnership with the league.
Over the next seven weeks, Sprint will phonecast the eight games that are televised solely on the NFL Network, the league's cable channel. For the past three seasons, the NFL has struggled to persuade major cable operators to include its channel in their basic programming packages.
With the NFL Network available in only about 40% of American households, Sprint executives hope the NFL games can do for their company what the league's Sunday Ticket package has done for satellite-television provider DirecTV. Sunday Ticket, which is exclusive to DirecTV, allows dedicated fans to see every NFL game on Sunday afternoons, and has been crucial to DirectTV's growth.
For the NFL, the Sprint phone-casts are part of a series of experiments with digital media aimed at discerning how fans will consume football in the future. NBC conducted similar experiments this summer, showing highlights and a handful of events from the Beijing Olympics on phones.
"We know a lot of fans find themselves displaced, and they are using devices like mobile phones for more tasks," said Brian Rolapp, the NFL's senior vice president of digital media and media strategy. "With 60% of our revenues coming from media, we'd be foolish not to do something like this."
The planned phonecasts are part of Sprint's NFL Mobile Live package, which is available on most Sprint handsets. The package can be purchased for $15 a month, and is also included as part of Sprint's Everything plans that start at $69.99 per month.
Personally, I hate football. I never watch it on my HDTVs, and would not watch it on a cellphone either. (info from The Wall Street Journal)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
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