The 2010 FIFA World Cup, which begins June 11 in Johannesburg, South Africa, is shaping up as the ideal test bed for mobile television around the globe. People in many time zones will be tuning in, many at odd times, forcing sports fans to find alternative ways to watch besides sitting at home. This makes mobile television a natural outlet for fans to follow the games anyplace, anytime.
Held every four years, the FIFA World Cup gathers 32 of the world's best national soccer teams on a global stage. In the United States, MobiTV and FLO TV, the nation's two premier mobile services, are ready for perhaps the best test yet of mobile television's audience.
Throughout the world, mobile television usage and viewer habits will be closely monitored. Predictions are that by 2012, there will be more than 300 million people in the world watching television on mobile devices.
FLO TV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, will offer ESPN Mobile TV's coverage of all 64 games. The network spans more than 100 major markets in the U.S., reaching a population of more than 200 million potential customers. With nearly 10 million subscribers in the U.S., MobiTV has previously seen its viewership double during high-profile live events such as the NBA Playoffs.
FLO TV, the larger of the two mobile television providers, unveiled a national advertising campaign featuring American team captain Landon Donovan. The 30-second spot is running on Donovan's Facebook page, as well as FLO TV's Facebook page and website, www.FLOTV.com.
Both mobile services will carry ESPN's comprehensive coverage of the World Cup from 10 stadiums in nine cities across South Africa. ESPN's 24/7 mobile sports network is available on the FLO TV and MobiTV platforms via AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other networks. Mobile TV costs about $10 a month.
All matches will be aired live and in high definition on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, and extensive coverage on ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile TV. In addition, 2010 FIFA World Cup studio programs, including prematch, halftime and postmatch segments, will be presented in HD.