TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: HBO Aims Sopranos Clips at Cingular Phones

HBO Aims Sopranos Clips at Cingular Phones

Reuters News Wire (
Thu, 15 Dec 2005 12:16:31 -0600

Cingular Wireless plans on Thursday to reveal a multiyear exclusive
deal with HBO to send video clips of hit television shows including
the Sopranos to mobile phones, Ovum analyst Roger Entner said.

Cingular, a venture of AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp., will use the
clips to encourage customers to use a high-speed wireless network that
it plans to expand from 16 markets to about 100 of the country's top
markets next year.

Cingular and HBO were not immediately available to comment but
Cingular has said it was holding a press event at HBO's offices on
Thursday afternoon.

HBO, a popular premium cable TV network owned by Time Warner Inc, has
agreed to send Cingular customers exclusive clips of future hit shows
as well as current programs, Entner said.

Given HBO's popularity among cable subscribers Entner said that the
agreement was a key win for Cingular over cable providers and Sprint
Nextel Corp. , which is setting up a wireless venture with four of the
top U.S. cable providers.

"Suddenly the best show on cable is not working with its traditional
partners," he said. "Its certainly a body blow for the cable
consortium and Sprint."

Large wireless providers the world over are developing services such
as music and video downloads for mobile phones in an effort to extend
revenue sources beyond voice services.

The agreement with HBO could help boost Cingular's image as a provider
of such advanced services.

While Cingular, the biggest U.S. wireless firm, was first in the
United States to sell popular phones such as Motorola Inc.'s Razr, it
is behind rivals in its plans to build its high-speed network.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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