Nokia Finishes Field Testing IMG/TWI Sports News

Earlier today, we reported a case of a sports league disintermediating news companies from the process of delivering sports news to online consumers. Here’s another example, this one involving wireless phone users.

A year ago, we reported that Nokia had chosen not a news company but the IMG/TWI sports talent agency to provide sports news, updates, audio commentaries, and sports images to users of Nokia’s new Multimedia Messaging System (MMS) mobile phones. Nokia today announced that has finished field testing these services.

    “This project has clearly demonstrated the value of MMS for sports content services” says Mark Selby, Head of Mobile Division, IMG/TWI. “When linked with SMS and WAP, MMS enables comprehensive, timely and exciting content to be consumed by sports fans. Mobile data services can now genuinely deliver the emotion of sport and generate new income for mobile operators.”

    “For Nokia this trial has been immensely valuable as it confirms our belief that sports, as a prime example of branded content, will be one of the big drivers in mobile multimedia. Already today, mobile data services is around EUR 40 billion annual business globally, and we expect this to grow to over EUR 180 billion by 2007,” says Esa Harju, Director, Marketing, Nokia Networks.

Nokia announced that, “more than 90 percent of the users in the trial expressed satisfaction with the services they had received during the trial. Content was structured for each geographic territory on the basis of local sports interest. Sports covered included football, golf, tennis, athletics, cricket, motor sports, badminton and horse racing.”

The mobile phone networks on which Nokia and IMG/TWI tested the sport MMS content were CSL in Hong Kong, DTAC in Thailand, M1 and StarHub in Singapore, and O2 in the UK.