2010 World Cup tipped to be mobile TV's coming of age

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Mobile TV—that is, live TV on your cellphone—is still sorta “meh,” it’s fair to say. That’s why the news that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa is seen by some, including Nokia, as the event that will bring the technology to the forefront, is certainly welcome. After all, nothing attracts eyeballs quite like the World Cup—sort of in the same way that the 2006 World Cup in Germany was HDTV’s mass audience debut.

The World Cup, which takes place in June and July of next year, is proving to be a big opportunity for mobile TV providers. In Africa (World Cup 2010 is the continent’s first such tournament) alone more than 10 companies have sprang up that will provide coverage of the action in some form or another. Services are already up and running in countries such as Kenya and Ghana.

FIFA, soccer’s world governing body, says it expects a record number of viewers for the monthlong festival de golos. Last time around, in 2006, the cumulative audience was around 26.3 billion. Yes, billion. (I probably accounted for a good 50 of those views, watching a few games more than once.) So, needless to say, there’s an incentive for mobile TV providers to get their act together in time for the big show.

Anyone willing to sponsor a MobileCrunch trip to South Africa (you know, to cover the mobile, tech stuff) is encouraged to contact us.

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