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ESPN Mobile Reaches The End Of The Road 125

fishdan writes "Sportsdot is reporting on the fact that people are apparently not interested in watching baseball (or any other sport) on a cell phone screen. ESPN Mobile is (ahem) pulling the plug after less than one year of service. Current subscribers will get content till the end of the year, and their handset purchase refunded. You have to wonder what other mobile content is going to have to be rethought." "Ahead of its time" might be one take on this as well. It'll be interesting to see when the time is right.
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ESPN Mobile Reaches The End Of The Road

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:36PM (#16238959) Homepage Journal

    You have to wonder what other mobile content is going to have to be rethought." "Ahead of its time" might be one take on this as well.

    Honestly, when I first saw the option to watch a sporting event on a cellphone I had two thoughts:

    • 1. Batter Life, my phone keeps shutting off the display after about 15 seconds of me not hitting a key. How much time on my battery would I sacrifice to watch hours of baseball? Maybe highlights, but not 3-4 bloody hours.
    • 2. What's happening? I can kinda make out the players, but I can't see the ball. Sports don't do much on close-up, but wide views, where detail would be lost on a miniscule display

    In the end, the idea had to be tried, but until people start opting for bigger phones, which is the opposite of the current trend, it just ain't gonna fly. Radio, with decent announcers is still your best mobile bet, get an AM radio.

    • by Feyr ( 449684 )
      that's right, this won't catch on until we have HUDs with simulated 40" displays.

      not that i watch sports much in the first place, but even trying to put myself in the place of a sports fan i can't see using a 1.5" screen to watch...
      • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:14PM (#16239349) Homepage Journal

        this won't catch on until we have HUDs with simulated 40" displays. ... i can't see using a 1.5" screen to watch...

        You don't need some kind of 3D or other unobtainable tech to make this work. My $200 digital camera from Walmart has composite video out and plays movies fullscreen. They look as good as broadcast ever did. There is no reason you can't fit the same stuff in a cell phone. Using this existing technology you could, you know, SHARE the game with your friends.

        Battery life might be a problem, so you can ship it with a good wall wart.

        Viola, ESPN in your pocket. Anywere there's a TV and a wall outlet, you have the game. The night watchman, people who spend all of their time on the road and any sports fan who does not have a satelite TV equipped mobile home would like such a service.

    • by joshetc ( 955226 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:55PM (#16239185)
      On top of all that.. theres no point.

      Instead of making things so general they should push high speed broadband to cell phones. Let people stream WHATEVER they want via them. Youtube, google video, divx files, etc.

      THEN distributors can sell specialized content. Nobody is going to pay for a phone to watch football, then another to watch TV shows, then an ipod video to watch movies, etc, etc.
      • there is high speed in some areas but the data cost are high
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by inetuid ( 582204 )
        Problem is that the mobile company doesn't just want to be a 'pipe'. They want to have more involvement in the content so they can skim off their cut. Hence the fantastically complicated 3GPP systems now going in. Prediction - no one will want that crap either.
    • by garylian ( 870843 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:25PM (#16239455)
      I don't see how the idea "had to be tried". If I had been sitting in a room full of people and they asked me if I thought it would score big numbers, I'd have laughed my ass off.

      This is one of those things for people with entirely too much time on their hands, and way too much disposable income.

      The streaming video was going to be a joke. The screen is too small to make it worth the effort.

      The updates... How many updates are there that are worth it? I can maybe see a perfect game going into the 9th inning being something to turn the tube on for, but for the rest of it... Nothing that has that much build-up potential is going to be something you can alert for.

      There was a similar kind of service they offer on pagers for fire department personal in some areas. Back in MD, you could get pager alerts for all major fire calls in the state sent to your pager. All the new kids becoming volunteers got it... At first. Then they dropped it because it was too damn annoying, especially since the odds were the call was nowhere CLOSE to where you worked/volunteered.

      Only a hardcore gambler would have considered this thing. Sports fans in general? Well, we see the evidence. It couldn't get their interest.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ackthpt ( 218170 ) *

        I don't see how the idea "had to be tried". If I had been sitting in a room full of people and they asked me if I thought it would score big numbers, I'd have laughed my ass off.

        Undoubtably lots of people throughout history laughed their asses off before eventually saying, "well, damn, who'd a thunk it?!?" I think it had to be tried to see if people really would go for it. I remember a lot of skeptics about bottled water, but it sells and sells well. I think energy drinks are all marketing and bullshi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BTWR ( 540147 )
        This is one of those things for people with entirely too much time on their hands, and way too much disposable income


        I don't think paying $15 a month is insane. Perhaps the 6 million World of Warcraft people have too much time on their hands, true. But spending the $15 a month doesn't mean they have too much disposable income. Hell, $15 is practically ONE less movie a month (at least here in New York City).

    • Would all be great candidates for on demand streaming. It doesn't matter if the screen is 1.5" across when you are watching survivor or scrubs, and if it were priced well then it could be usable on airports, trains, planes (if you can save it to your phone) etc...

      Sports work much better with a 52" screen - everybody knows that.
    • In some parts of the world, mobile content is quite popular, and in other parts of the world it is not.

      Some reasearchers have linked this to behaviour on subways etc. In some parts of the world, smart phones and mobile content are seen to be a useful way to kill some time on commuter trains. In other parts of the world it isn't.

      Also, you need to be careful of what content you push. Some games (soccer etc) can probably be sent quite well in mobile form since you're probably only going to be looking at a few

    • by Spacejock ( 727523 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @10:33PM (#16240873) Homepage
      I had a Sony colour LCD TV with a 2" screen back in 1991. My experience with that device proved that watching just about anything except talking heads was a waste of time. To make it work they need a projector with keystone correction, so you beam a 10" picture onto a desk or the wall, or a screen that can be rolled up and slid back into the device when not in use. Neither are likely with current tech, but if you guys keep buying these gadgets the manufacturers will have more money to invest in research.
      So, TV on mobiles is a great idea. Go buy three of them.
      • I had a Sony colour LCD TV with a 2" screen back in 1991. My experience with that device proved that watching just about anything except talking heads was a waste of time. To make it work they need a projector with keystone correction, so you beam a 10" picture onto a desk or the wall, or a screen that can be rolled up and slid back into the device when not in use. Neither are likely with current tech, but if you guys keep buying these gadgets the manufacturers will have more money to invest in research. So

    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by alcmaeon ( 684971 )

      I couldn't agree more.

      Let's see, I'm out of town and the game I just have to see is coming on. I can:
      a) Go to Hooters and watch it, eat some wings and see some ass, or
      b) I can sit at McDonalds, eat greasy fried, and watch it on a 1.5" screen.

      Unless your dick is the same size as that cel phone screen, you are going to take option A.

    • by M-G ( 44998 )
      Contrary to what the submitter implied, the service did not allow you to watch full ESPN content on the phone. You could only view highlight clips. I heard an analyst on NPR yesterday who said that the inability to actually watch ESPN was one of the reasons it failed. However, as most have mentioned, the small display would still have probably been a sticking point for consumers.

      My personal opinion is that unlike other virtual operators, the ESPN service needed to be compelling enough to make people swit
  • Screen size. discuss.
    • Screen size. discuss.
      Uhh... it's too small.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mswope ( 242988 )
      Actually, I thought the bigges problem was *the content*.

      I have Sprint's "ultimate" package. It has two music channels (audio only), one NBC news channel that shows news clips updated periodically, Fox news live,and .... A BAZILLION "PREVIEWS".

      Previews of movies, of tv shows, etc. The Talladega Nights preview has been on there forever. The entire Sony "channel" is movie previews. Plus, the previews aren't for content that you can actually watch on the phone.

      There might be other content in there somewher
    • Modded redundant, but did you check the time stamp foo?!
  • for junkies and gamblers.

    Its just Entertainment!
  • by The Wing Lover ( 106357 ) <awh@awh.org> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:39PM (#16238991) Homepage
    ...Americans start taking the train everywhere instead of driving. Mobile phone video content does just fine in Japan.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I did see someone watching a baseball game on their video I-pod on the subway today, but books and newspapers are far and away the prefered train media.
    • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:00PM (#16239787)
      ...Americans start taking the train everywhere instead of driving.

      1. Most sports contests aren't during commute time.
      2. Most non-commute, non-car journeys are short enough not to bother about what happens in the game. If you're THAT interested, you'd stay home or at the sports bar and watch it on the big screen with your buds.
      3. Most commutes aren't THAT long. The 100 mile each way is the exception, not the rule. I can do without video for 15 minutes on my way home.
      • Wow. My 25 mile commute takes 20 minutes in the morning, but 45min to 1.5 hrs in the afternoon (mostly due to rubber necking and inconsiderate people blocking traffic, very few accidents really.)
      • by isorox ( 205688 )
        1. Most sports contests aren't during commute time.

        Because noone watches then. If you build it, they will come.

        2. Most non-commute, non-car journeys are short enough not to bother about what happens in the game. If you're THAT interested, you'd stay home or at the sports bar and watch it on the big screen with your buds.

        Perhaps in America, however 1-2 hour commutes via train etc. are not uncommon in other countries.

        3. Most commutes aren't THAT long. The 100 mile each way is the exception, not the rule. I ca
    • by igb ( 28052 ) on Friday September 29, 2006 @01:17AM (#16241815)
      I was on the metro in the rush hour in Tokyo a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't see anyone using mobile video. They couldn't: it was crush loaded. I used the JR trains out to Kawasaki, which aren't crush loaded, and I didn't see anyone using it there. iPods, yes. But not a lot else.

      ian

    • Maybe your city is different than mine (Nagoya). It's extremely rare that I see anyone using a cell phone for anything other than calls or mail. Maybe once or twice I've seen people using that new widescreen phone with a TV tuner (but then, there's nothing cellphone-specific about portable TV devices).

      The time I have seen it used, I think it was to watch TV dramas or variety shows, and not sports.
  • Now I can enjoy Sunday Night Baseball Presented By Taco Bell without all the irritating updates to "get constant alerts on your ESPN Mobile phone." Even Jon Miller, who I'm sure was offered a free ESPN Mobile phone, mocked that toss-over phrase on-air.

    ESPN has been totally desperate to promote this thing. "ESPN Mobile brings you the newest ESPN Mobile alerts on your very own ESPN Mobile device enhanced with ESPN Mobile technology!"
    • I agree. The ads were everywhere, and they were annoying as hell.

      The service didn't look the least bit impressive, either. It was only a matter of time.

  • by bughouse26 ( 975570 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:41PM (#16239005)
    The trouble was potential subscribers had to: 1. Get a new phone 2. Switch providers to Sprint/Nextel & sign a 2-yr contract Not to mention the huge fees for content you can get on any web-enabled phone for free. Wang 2.0
    • you can get on any web-enabled phone for free
      Which phone companies provide free web access?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by minus_273 ( 174041 )
        "Which phone companies provide free web access?"

        Cingular. if you were like me and signed up for the spider man promotion back in 2002 and get grandfathered into you 29.99 contract every year.
        free roaming
        free long distance
        free web
        unlimited nights and weekends.
        and a free phone every year when i resign.

        they have been trying to get me on a different contract for years he he.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by AndrewNeo ( 979708 )
        I use Verizon and am not paying for mobile web. I use my own proxy instead of Verizon's, by changing the Web Sessions setting on my phone.
  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:42PM (#16239029)
    "Ahead of its time" might be one take on this as well. It'll be interesting to see when the time is right.


    When cell phones have nuclear power cells that last for years without recharging, and built in projectors so that you can see video at a decent size (or wire up to your optic nerve for the same result.)

    Alternatively, when prolonged cold weather causes Satan's pipes to burst.
  • Simple answer: when the screen occupies a reasonable visual area (solid angle) for someone with normal vision.

    Goggles or whatever -- until then, fuggeddaboudit.

    • It works for my digital camera [slashdot.org] why not your cellphone.

      • It works for my digital camera (composite video out) why not your cellphone.
        Because if you've got a device capable of displaying composite video, 99 times out of 100 it's a TV set with ESPN available. The point of the portable device is that you can watch it where a TV isn't.
        • Well, suppose the ESPN phone can get video of out-of-market games. Being stuck in Florida, I watch my Tigers with MLB.TV. I bet there are fans that would like a device that could get out-of-market games and hook it up to a TV (provided that an internet connection wasn't available). That said, I'd never buy ESPN Mobile, I can just call someone for a score if I really, really crave it.
  • Current subscribers will get content till the end of the year
    That can't be right. Can it?
    • by guest ( 3772 )
      from dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=till [reference.com]

      till1 /tl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[til] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

      -preposition
      1. up to the time of; until: to fight till death.
      2. before (used in negative constructions): He did not come till today.
      3. near or at a specified time: till evening.
      4. Chiefly Midland, Southern, and Western U.S.. before; to: It's ten till four on my watch.
      5. Scot. and North England.
      a. to.
      b. unto.

      -conjunctio
  • helio (Score:4, Funny)

    by User 956 ( 568564 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:45PM (#16239077) Homepage
    You have to wonder what other mobile content is going to have to be rethought.

    I was going to make a comment about the Myspace Phone, but then I realized that's not really "content".
    • I was going to make a comment about the Myspace Phone, but then I realized that's not really "content".

      I agree but I think you probably came up with an idea that would work. The myspace user base and the ringtone-buying teen phone users are probably a strongly overlapping demographic. The music and videos on myspace would do a lot better on a mobile phone screen than a sporting event would, and they go to the site every day anyway. Being able to see a version optimized for the mobile phone

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@ya ... .com minus punct> on Thursday September 28, 2006 @06:49PM (#16239109) Homepage Journal
    People like to watch sports with other people. Cell phone coverage doesn't cut it.
    • by eln ( 21727 ) *
      Personally, if I'm really interested in a game I prefer to watch it alone. Watching it with people provides too many distractions and I miss most of the actual game. Big "event" games like the Super Bowl are fun to watch with a lot of people, but at that point they're really just a pleasant distraction from the general festivities.

      Also, if I'm interested in a game I don't want to have to try and make out what's going on on a tiny little screen. I have a TV and I have a satellite dish. If I'm interested
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you put enough monkeys at enough typewriters, eventually they will type all the works of Shakespeare.

    The above adage seems a lot like finding successful business models on the internet; or how to make money from open source, etc. Trial and error are probably just as effective as spending a jillion dollars on a thorough business analysis. Most attempts will fail but a few will succeed big time. I would have predicted that Amazon would be a success but they spent a long time struggling to become profita
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If you put enough monkeys at enough typewriters, eventually they will type all the works of Shakespeare.

      That's only if the letters the monkeys type are uniformly distributed across the keyboard, which with monkeys won't be the case. More likely they'll simply smash at the keys, resulting in repeating patterns of letters occupying the same general area of the typewriter, which won't give you the works of Shakespeare no matter how many monkeys you have.

      Now, if you took a random character generator and ran it

  • Why don't they change it from sports to "adult entertainment"? Pr0n has a track record for getting new tech to fly.
  • The time might be right when EV-DO and other high-speed data services become affordable enough and battery life improves so that a more robust viewing experience (even if not full-motion video) becomes possible. As is, people don't want to pay for services that are more frustrating than fulfilling. I think this is more of an issue of technology lagging baseline requirements of usability than a public not being "ready" for a service.
  • I would say that people are ready to watch sports and other broadcasts via their cell phone. After all, people have been listening to sports on the go via radio for many, many years. Why not watch it? I think the two biggest issues here are: 1. Are cell phones and the networks they utilize able to handle this new feature at a quality and price people are willing to accept? What value is added when your paying a premium to watch a stream with so little detail that you are unable to follow the game in anymor
  • People spend $$$$ for a nice HDTV, surround setup.. things like to just so that they can watch games in the comfort of their homes. Becuase, the thing essential thing with sports TV is that it needs to be Big to really get the feel of the game. Watching sports on the a tiny cell phone screen while on the move is plain stupid. I would rather watch pr0n on my phone rather that sports.
  • I think that for ESPN the best content would be something like Sportcenter (Sportscenter?) which fits better with the size of the screen. Considering the fact that the Ipod Video has been around for a while, it might behoove other developers to look into what kind of content people put on their Ipods. I for one can not imagine watching actual movies on one, but video podcasts of news reports would be useful. CNN should look in to offering streaming news updates. Or a content clearinghouse could offer a
  • I am not so sure. I have quite a number of friends/acquaintances who bought Slingboxes - http://www.slingmedia.com/indexa.php [slingmedia.com] - for the express purpose of watching sports on their mobile devices. Why would this be? Could it be a price/performance thing? I certainly think so.
    • So true, if people are willing to look at powerpointesque schematics to reperesent in game progress (see go.espn.com, man when are they gonna let that GO....)then they would be willing to look at crappy video instead, but the main point seems to be having to subscribe to the particular phone service/outlet scheme they have. 2 cents.

      -A
  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:17PM (#16239369) Homepage
    Year 2000 dot-bomb formulae:
    --We're going to sell dog food... but... we're going to do it on the WEB!
    --We're going to sell kid's toys... but... we're going to do it on the WEB!
    --We're going to sell groceries... but... we're going to do it on the WEB!

    Nowadays:
    --We're going to broadcast sports... but... we're going to do it on CELL PHONES!
    --We're going to bombard you with advertising... but... we're going to do it on CELL PHONES! ... and, of course...

    --We're going to let you browse the Web (and buy dog food, kids' toys, and groceries)... but... we're going to do it on CELL PHONES!
  • Does anyone have ESPN360 [espn360.com] and use this product often/frequently? I used it before but was expecting some live games. I remember during World Cup, there was one game live but it was a small game.
    • i watched the entire world cup (all the major games) on it live from at work. It is free to verizon customers, so if you put &customer=verizon in the URL it would let you in as if you logged in. After the world cup they removed the security hole and i discovered TVUplayer.
    • by sam1am ( 753369 )
      I use it occasionally to often. It's nice - quality is quite decent. They really need to get the word out better, and get better carriage, not enough cable systems offer it, I believe. Nice with the gameplan stuff, too. It's convenient, but the truth is, I like my HDTV better :)
    • by antdude ( 79039 )
      Oh and I wished ESPN 360 would show games not aired on local broadcast stations like home Lakers games (not on ABC).
  • Perhaps the problem is that unless you're in a pennant run, baseball is not really that exciting regardless of screen size. If your not at home on the sofa or at a bar,baseball works really well on radio.
  • Misleading summary (Score:5, Informative)

    by sehryan ( 412731 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:30PM (#16239527)
    The summary is a bit misleading. ESPN is shutting down thier branded cell phone service. The exclusive content that they provide to existing carriers is going to continue.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:39PM (#16239609)
    With less and less people going to church, the need for mobile video entertainment is dramatically shrinking.
  • SlingBox mobile version is pretty cool - can't say I use it all that often, but when traveling or stuck some place, it is nice to have.
  • Give me voice recognition, autolocation and a bit of AI. "Find me a local pub within 10 mins walking distance". That is what I want.

    Feed the output back up to a set of screen glasses which need to be significantly less geeky than these: http://tinyurl.com/mzx9n [tinyurl.com]

     
  • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @07:58PM (#16239771)
    I have an MLB.TV web suscription. Last year, and for the two previous years I was a happy customer. The feed was pretty good all things considered. This year however...

    They switched to using Microsoft's DRM on the feed, which means I can no longer use Firefox, nor my Mac to access the content. They made no announcement, I only found out why I couldn't connect by reading a Register article explaining the DRM switchover. Their website stated the wrong information for a long time after the switch - not sure if it is even correct now. They have no email based Customer Support. (the form on their website doesn't actually submit mail to them) They have phone based CS, but I live in Germany, so that's not an option.

    The feed has become incredibly unstable, at the beginning of the season it was impossible to watch a complete game without interruption - It has marginally improved since then, but there are still frequent issues.

    This year too it seems to be impossible for them to consistently get the aspect ratio correct on every game. Some games are broadcast in 16:9 but squashed to 4:3 by MLB.TV. It was fine before, so it's artifact, not a tech issue.

    They now cut to a screen saver during commercial breaks. I actually miss the Aflac and Geico ads. They don't always come back to the game at the start of a half inning, sometimes it's in the middle of action. Worse, however, is that now they are broadcasting canned music in between innings. The same music. All. The. Time. If I ever hear Yellow Bird again.... it's playing right now...aaaarrrgh!!!

    Seriously, they could just broadcast ads and save me money on my suscription, as well as my sanity.

    And this is on a powerful PC with a fast DSL connection. So am I surprised that the mobile version is a dismal failure? Why no, not at all...
    • by sam1am ( 753369 )
      Actually, the ESPN phone has worked much better for me than MLB.tv. It's a very different product. As a closed system, they control all aspects of the video playback (DRM, if any, is minor). Video was consistently high quality, played smoothly, and the content was good - highlights, news updates, and the like.

      The MLB.tv crap was just that. ESPN Mobile, I'll probably miss it a little - it was nice to get the news updates and scores. And the regular web access was particularly nice. I'm not a huge sport
    • by syrinx ( 106469 )
      They switched to using Microsoft's DRM on the feed, which means I can no longer use Firefox ...what? I've been using Firefox to watch mlb.tv all year. So there must be something else up if you haven't gotten it to work.

      That aside, mlb.tv is still crap. This was my first year with it, and it's likely going to be the last. Extra Innings, if you have that option (digital cable or satellite), is more expensive, but much better.
      • I've been using Firefox to watch mlb.tv all year. Ditto That aside, mlb.tv is still crap. This was my first year with it, and it's likely going to be the last. Extra Innings, if you have that option (digital cable or satellite), is more expensive, but much better. Admittedly the quality isn't great, but it's cheaper for me to use this that subscribe to NASN here in the UK. We do have two games a week (1 live on a Sunday night/Monday morning and 1 with a delay on a Wednesday night/Thursday morning) on cha
    • I have a Gameday Audio subscription and I can use Firefox/Windows to listen to games. Using the Mac is hit-or-miss since the Flip4Mac plugin for QuickTime doesn't work with the Flash-based controls MLB uses. It's enough to make me pine for RealPlayer which at least worked on all the major platforms (and even supports pausing live streams whereas WMP doesn't).

      The saddest part of this is that MLB.TV is considered the best online broadcasting company for sports out there, so much so that they actually licens
  • The whole problem with the espn mobile service was that you had to pay for an espn phone. There are millions who would pay $5/month for some sports service, but they don't want to have a one-size fits all phone.
  • by gosand ( 234100 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @08:14PM (#16239893)
    I had a company in California really want me to work for them a few years ago. They were one of the big players in the "tv on your phone" scene. The job sounded interesting, but then I thought - why would anyone want this? It just seemed like a dumb idea to me. They claimed they had a growing market, etc. But I just didn't get it. I worried that I might be missing something, and this was a good chance to get in on something before it became big. Maybe I was right for once.

    I don't have the best track record. Here are some of my other ideas of what wouldn't take off...

    When I was first introduced to Unix, I thought - this is dumb. It is way too complicated, who wants to remember all these commands? This was around 1990. 3 years later, I got my first job, and had to use Unix every day as we were on Unix servers. Here it is 13 years later and I am still using it, and Linux has been on my home computer for about 8 years. :)

    I was introduced to SQL in one of my classes, and thought "this is weird. Select * from... huh? I don't get it. Who would ever want to use this, it is so cumbersome.

    A college classmate did one of his senior projects on this burgeoning thing called (of all things) The World Wide Web. He was trying to explain it to me, and I thought it sounded kind of ... unnecessary. I mean, we had ftp, usenet, gopher, BBS... what else could you want?

  • How do you get a job with cell phone makers if you have the next big thing in phones?
  • Not in the fine article. Maybe it just cost too much for the niche thing it was? I know I can go over to a local truckstop here and they have a shirt pocket size battery operated TV that costs 35 bucks, that's it. Any content you can snag with the antenna is free. I can't imagine mobile phone content is cheaper than free. Granted, not all sports are on OTA free broadcasts, but there's still quite a selection.
  • by Ka D'Argo ( 857749 ) on Thursday September 28, 2006 @09:58PM (#16240587) Homepage
    Several have pointed it out but yea that's the main issue. As cell phones are becoming smaller and smaller, more ergonomic, etc the size is the issue. I mean there are cell phones out there roughly the size of an iPod Nano, and that's damn small. The screen is sooooooo tiny. It kinda reminds me of things in the old days, when tv's weren't so readily avaible you'd listen to your team on the radio as the announcers called the game. Maybe that's what cell phones need, just a radio component to listen to the games that some radio stations dish out. The screen size is really too tiny to see who's doing what and where. Imagine football where they need to zoom out to show both sides of the line when a play starts, all the guys look like tiny pixel dots and you can't see the ball or even who has it.

    That and, I'm not sure on the price, but with the way companies ass rape you for the costs of something as simple as text messages, live tv coverage of a sports game on your cellphone sounds uber fucking expensive. Again I don't know the price but if I had to guess, I'm sure Motorola, Verison, Sprint etc are watering at the mouth in terms of what they could charge for such content onto your phone.

    And is it just me, or should we really be concentrating on more important things? Like, better reception nation wide. Making less areas where you completely drop your signal at random, or really bad reception all the time? Developing longer lasting batteries that don't die out in a few hours after being fully charged, and by die out I mean not inconstant use but the phone is "on" aka waiting to be called or call out. How about making phones and minutes more affordable? (Yes I know there are several pay as you go services but for people on fixed incomes or limited incomes thats still not a viable option and cellphones can be life savers in emerganices).
  • How many subscribers has MobiTV added in the last year? Over a millon? Over two million? That is about double what Blackberry has done, which is everyone's darling mobile service.

    I think this market has a long ways to grow ... but not with proprietary device/carrier lock in.

  • When I was in Japan this summer all my cousins phones were able to receive about 6-8 direct television video feeds in 16:9 format on a very large screen as most Japanese phones are becoming closer and closer to just a pure LCD screen.

    The phones that the common folk in America tend to have are the free ones or the heavily subsidized phones that have small screens and are in portrait format. Another issue is variable levels of bandwidth and cost of having the additional data plan if one is required for video
    • Um, perhaps that's part of it, but aren't they also putting 3G into the 850 band? Telstra (Australia) are about to launch 3G at 850MHz on the premise that someone else in the world (Cingular) is already going there so we know handsets will be available..
  • Its baseball! Come on, you put the most boring sport in the world on a phone and can't figure out why people don't buy it ?? Lets say I am at the doctors office, waiting around. I have 30 minutes to kill. Lets look at my options:
    • Read the Golf magazines
    • Play games on my cell
    • iPod
    • Flirt with some hot broad
    • Watch baseball on a cell phone

    Ok, so I lied. Golf is actually the worst and most boring sport to watch, but baseball is right up t

  • ""Ahead of its time" might be one take on this as well. It'll be interesting to see when the time is right.

    Hopefully, that day will never come. Don't call me luddite yet, I'm certainly not, but there are uses, and there are abuses of a technology. It's already kind of hateful now, to walk around and see everyone with their earphones plugged in and their sight lost in the void.

  • In Europe, the likes of Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile etc. are all trying to sell people on the idea of TV on their phones. The only problem is that the implementation is atrocious, requiring people to sign up for the service via WAP, and to navigate through a maze of WAP menus to find the one that points at the RTSP feed. It's horrible, and you only have to sneeze for the connection to be broken. Want to change channels? Navigate the maze again and pick a different feed. And providers expect people to pay a not i
  • I'm a huge sports fan. I absolutely hate ESPN. All they do is try to blow small things into world events so their viewer/readership will go up. Sure, it's business, but it's also nothing more than hyperbole. So, good for them. Eat that enormous cost. You earned it with your tactics.

    Hate You.
  • I'm sure this service would have reached a lot more people and had a greater success if only the cell phone providers didnt charge so much to use the features they advertise.

    I can watch TV on my CELL.... Its GREAT... but unless I pay my provider 10-20 extra a month flat rate, then it costs my $50 a meg to watch over their airwaves. If the cell providers werent so greedy, and made it affordable for the masses, ESPN and all the others would be around for a good long time!

    Thats my take
  • Just to clarify, I don't think ESPN Mobile even offered its users a live ESPN feed. It was more a way to get scores, stats, and updates. (I'm reasonably sure that's correct; I've only heard the plugs seven freaking times during each SportsCenter broadcast for the past year.) I'm sure there were video clips and such, but I don't think you could watch a whole Monday Night Football broadcast on the thing.

  • I used to use a Watchman (portable personal TV) from time to time. It clearly wasn't a replacement for real TV, and it wasn't comfortable for extended viewings.

    What did make it worth the hassle was that it could recieve normal TV. Can cell phones recieve normal TV?

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