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Fox Mobile's Bitbop - First To Add Mobile TV To Smartphones

Would you pay $9.99 a month to get TV on your smartphone? That's the new offering that the Fox Mobile Group is betting on. Introduced as a new wireless video subscription, the service will provide users with premium video content that includes downloadable movies and streaming content.

The Bitbop service is scheduled to debut this Spring, but no specific launch date has been announced. Fox Mobile says the Bitbop service will work on “most advanced technology handsets” with “nearly every major telecommunication carrier”. In addition, the company said subscribers can expect to be able to stream or download content from Fox but also a range of content partners. According to GigaOM, partners will include NBC Universal and Discovery, along with a number of unannounced content owners.

Presently you can request an invitation to access the site here.


The free version of the app will only offer sneak previews. The full content will cost the $9.99 monthly service fee over 3G and Wi-Fi connections.

FMG chief marketing officer Chris Hoerenz  said, "Bitbop is an on demand subscription-based service that delivers on the promise of making the smartphone an easy-to-use entertainment device for television programs and movies. We are able to give mobile audiences the wide range of content they want, when and where they want it, with all the customer friendly features they expect."

The big question is whether folks will be willing to pony up $10 per month just to have "TV on the go?"  While "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons" may be attractive to some, others might not like the video selections that are pre-selected.  Additionally, Fox Mobile will also be testing the limits of 3G bandwidth and whether or not its capabilities will be enough to sustain uninterrupted viewing.

I am sure Google TV will be watching the traction gained by the Fox Mobile Group and this launch. With developers hard at work developing new "TV" apps for Google and their Android phones, I am sure mobile TV apps are certainly on the drawing boards.




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Ron Callari
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