NBC Universal plans to let mobile phone users buy and watch full-length primetime programs on demand.
The offering, which will be made through MobiTV in the second quarter, will let some mobile customers download television programs to their phones for $1.99 each and watch them within a 24-hour period. That price could go up depending on the operator that offers the service.
Most existing mobile TV offerings include shortened programs or programs designed specifically for mobile phones and some services require users to watch the content based on a schedule. NBC has chosen select shows to be included in the on-demand deal such as “The Office,” “Monk” and “Battlestar Galactica.”
MobiTV subscribers will be able to watch some on-demand programs, such as “Friday Night Lights,” for no additional charge since those will include advertising.
Other full-length programs from Telemundo including the telenovelas “Pasion de Gavilanes” and “Decisiones” will also be available.
MobiTV is a subscription service that allows users to watch videos on their mobile phones. In the U.S., Sprint Nextel, AT&T and Alltel are among operators that offer the service.
In addition to services that enable streamed or downloaded programming like MobiTV, mobile customers will also soon be able to subscribe to broadcast services delivered through new technologies. However, it’s not yet clear how much demand there is for mobile TV, regardless of the technology used to deliver it. A recent study from M:Metrics Inc. that was commissioned by Tellabs showed that in Europe, more people have tried and canceled mobile TV services than currently use them.