MobiTV Announces Microsoft Deal

MobiTV said Tuesday that it had partnered with Microsoft to bring its service to Windows Mobile based devices, as well as Windows XP computers. The company will use Microsoft's digital rights management and codecs along with Windows Media Player to deliver its content.

The selection of Microsoft technologies would allow the service to deliver high-quality video content to smartphones, MobiTV said. Also, the company noted the decision was influenced by demand for support of the platform by its customers.

The mobile entertainment service currently provides content for U.S. carriers Sprint, Alltel and Cingular, as well as several other cellular networks worldwide. Programming from MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, and The Weather Channel are among those who have signed on to allow mobile redistribution of their content via MobiTV.

The Microsoft deal expands MobiTV's reach beyond the mobile phone. "Microsoft offers an integrated and complete solution that fulfills our vision to deliver the best possible live television experience to consumers, across a range of devices and networks," company chairman and CEO Dr. Phillip Alvelda said.

MobiTV has been providing services since November 2003, and announced separately Tuesday that it had passed one million subscribers. The company has doubled its customer base in just six months, and Alvelda credited much of the increase to word-of-mouth advertising.

"MobiTV, and now the whole mobile television category, is on fire," he mused.

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