Hot soccer snippets move Spain’s mobile TV companies, Mediapro together

Owner of Spanish soccer rights Mediapro and Spanish telcos have signed a deal to offer non-exclusive hot soccer footage in small but exciting bites — from one-and-a-half to three minutes — on a monthly subscription basis, Variety reports. Prisa Canal Plus began offering soccer match highlights last year.

In Spain, the top mobile TV revenue-drivers are news and sports, including soccer, but the spending is not there. "The quality of viewing experience of soccer matches on mobiles is significantly inferior to PCs," said Ronan De Renesse, Screen Digest's head of mobile media, who also says the country’s depressed economic climate mandates keeping subscription fees under €6 a month.

As things stand now, soccer fans with iPhones and Internet access can simply search YouTube for soccer scenes drawn from other countries’ broadcasts. For example, within just 14 hours after a match between Real Madrid and German team Borussia Dortmund, a YouTube video of game highlights received more than 160,000 hits.

This makes Mediapro’s move look like more of an investment in a sunnier mobile TV future. "Mediapro's mobile video service won't be a game changer, but it will improve video content availability on the mobile platform and raise awareness of such services," De Renesse said. "The increasing adoption of touch-screen phones combined with the deployment of faster 3G networks is set to increase the demand for such services in the future; however, whether it can be monetized remains uncertain."