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Big Movies on The Small Screen

  • Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2008
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  • Author: pradhana
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  • Filed under: Mobile Services

Industry struggles with pushing movies to mobile

By Colin Gibbs

A handful of mobile players are trying to cram the silver screen onto the third screen. But whether there’s a business case to be made for mobile movies is far from clear.

The first wireless films came online for U.S. consumers in December 2005 with a less than stellar cast: Sprint PCS (at the time) teamed with the Silicon Valley startup mSpot to launch a feature-length film service that spotlighted second-rate films such as “Short Circuit 2,” John Wayne’s “Angel and the Badman” and Bing Crosby and Bob Hope in “Road to Bali.”

Sprint Nextel Corp. has since built substantially on its initial offering, launching a wide variety of recent blockbusters, and mSpot now powers a similar service for Bell Canada. Meanwhile, plenty of others have made noise — while not necessarily making money — in the space. Blockbuster Inc. last year entered talks with all the major handset manufacturers to make it easier for consumers to watchfilms on their phones, according to news reports.

Motorola Inc. made headlines earlier this year with rumors that it will offer full-length movies pre-formatted for its multimedia devices, France Telecom unveiled plans to offer hundreds of flicks across the Web, cable and mobile phones, and MTV last year aired the feature film “Super Sweet 16: The Movie” on mobile before the film appeared on cable TV.

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