afaqs!

STAR News goes live on mobile TV

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | August 10, 2009
MCCS has started live streaming of STAR News, STAR Majha and STAR Ananda, on mobile networks offering 3G and 2.5G services in India

Media Content and Communications Services (MCCS) has made its Hindi, Marathi and Bengali news channels -- STAR News, STAR Majha and STAR Ananda -- available on the mobile TV platform.

The content of all three channels will be streamed live, including the ads that appear during the news programmes. The content will be available on the 3G networks of MTNL and BSNL. However, the company claims that their mobile TV option will also be made accessible to subscribers of other telecom operators, who offer 2.5G services.

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Currently, only two mobile operators -- BSNL and MTNL -- offer 3G services in India. The video content delivery process is faster on 3G mobile networks, as compared to 2.5G.

MCCS has partnered with Hyderabad-based Apalya Technologies to power its content on mobile TV. Users will be able to view MCCS channels on Mobile TV by downloading an application - to do that, users need to send the keyword, MOBTV, as an SMS to 5782728. Once downloaded, the application will reside in the mobile phone.

Apart from offering technology, Apalya will also help MCCS to distribute its content to various mobile operators.

"Although our mobile TV services have gone live, but we will formally launch the service in the next few months and promote it through our TV network," L Ramakrishnan, head, new media business, STAR News tells afaqs!.

The company plans to monetise its mobile TV content through the paid-content route. Ramakrishnan says, "Consumers can either access content on pay per view or on monthly subscription fees basis." The rates may vary from Rs 5 to 50 in the pay-per-view model. The revenue earned through paid content will be shared with Apalya Technologies.

Apart from distributing its content on mobile TV, MCCS will also offer the content through SMS, voice and mobile Internet. NOIDA-based One97 Communications, a mobile value-added service (VAS) company, will empower MCCS for this.

To begin with, the company has rolled out its SMS subscription service, under which it will send news alerts to mobile subscribers. The SMS service will be operational across three mobile operators -- Airtel, BSNL and Reliance Mobile.