The BBC looks at the "future" of mobile TV via 3G, including comments from Endemol people and from Nokia.
Endemol seem very excited, and are perhaps on the right track by aiming at quiz shows and -hum- reality tv shows. There are some stats for mobile TV usage in the article, which indicates the kind of audience they should be targetting: "Orange found that ... 36% watching its service [sic] during lunch and other breaks. Some 18% watched TV while travelling to and from work, 12% while queuing or waiting for friends and 10% watched it at home." - in other words, mobile TV is mostly a time-killer. I would say this is true, and what separates it from being "TV on your mobile", as it were. Usage patterns are different, which means that formats and contents need to be different. Marlk Selby of Nokia compares selling mobile TV to selling mobile web access, and while he says the former may be easier, there's certainly a similar shift in understanding needed to get from a large screen format to a small one.
This quote, near the end, though, just makes my eyebrows go all wobbly...
"3G has capacity limitations and if two or three people in one place are receiving a TV picture, you can't make a phone call," explained Mr Sharp.
Ouch. This is effectively a Denial of Service against the main purpose of telephones then - a handful of people accessing a few video feeds sounds like it might kill voice access for anyone near them. The "one place" aspect is fairly vague though. Does a whole road count as a "place"? An office block? Given that the only way this is really going to take off is if a certain length of time (not data - consumers don't want to understand compression algorithms) is pre-paid, it sounds like you could render a busy area 3G-less with a small number of flat-fee handsets. Ah well, there's still landlines :)
It's also great to see Nokia breaking out into the world of "mobile" television. Now that they've gotten away from using the phone as a starting point, and moved more towards mobile computing devices, their new products are looking promising - indeed, I'm not sure when it's arriving but I'm looking forward to the delivery of a new Debian-based Nokia 770 to hack around with. If only 10% of people watching TV on their mobiles are at home, then devices like this could be pretty big - indeed, why bother paying for 3G data when you have a flat-fee wireless broadband access point 3 metres from you? If I had to bet on either Nokia's or Endemol's ploy, my money's already on the former.
Finally, missing commas lead to a faintly amusing quote from the article...
"One solution said Mr Bazalgette could lie in advertising."
Should the BBC be condoning such blatant flouting of advertisement honesty law? ;)