Regardless of who wins the presidential election, this political season is turning into a winner for mobile TV services.
“There’s no question we’ve found a sweet spot around live news and sports,” said Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president of programming and advertising at MediaFLO USA. He couldn’t share usage data on the presidential and vice presidential debates because that information isn’t yet available, but “I’m certainly optimistic about it.”
Last night’s debate was live on six FLO channels: NBC, CBS, Fox, MSNBC and CNBC, as well as on CNN for AT&T subscribers. Plus, Nickelodeon is doing a Q&A for kids on Oct. 12, and that will be available via MediaFLO, and MTV is doing its Choose or Lose initiative that includes some exclusive content for mobile.
If that’s not enough, or if viewers just want to get their kicks from another source as well, Comedy Central offers the “Daily Show” and the “Colbert Report,” via MediaFLO.
MediaFLO services are available through AT&T and Verizon Wireless. Verizon Wireless offered two options for watching last night’s debate, and it will do the same for the Oct. 15 debate. According to a Verizon Wireless spokesman, the carrier sees big increases for the live events.
Meanwhile, MobiTV, FOX News and MSNBC also are airing the debates. MobiTV earlier saw a nearly 400% increase in its tune-in to the political conventions, which it aired live. MobiTV powers the mobile TV-viewing experience for Sprint, AT&T and Alltel, among others.