An Oscar Cel-ebration


In another first for the really, really small screen, pre- and post-awards festivities at Sunday night’s Academy Awards show were scheduled to be streamed live to a Java-enabled Sprint PCS Vision phone near you.

For $9.99 per month, MobiTV currently delivers over a dozen live channels including ABC, MSNBC, Discovery, CNBC, TLC, and sports and music channels. MobiTV launched in November. For competitive reasons, it does not give out subscriber figures at Sprint’s request, since it is only available on Sprint phones. MobiTV says it is working with other carriers as well as additional content providers.

From red carpet entrances to gushing post-awards interviews, the show was provided courtesy of ABC News Live, ABC’s 24/7 broadband-exclusive news channel. In addition to MobiTV, the channel is available on RealNetworks SuperPass, AOL for Broadband, SBC/Yahoo providers and Bell South DLS subscribers.

Heather Cabot was slated to anchor the coverage exclusively for the service, with Carla Wohl, anchor for ABC’s affiliate news feed, doing red carpet duty for the broadband audience. News is probably one of the best applications of cel phone video, says Julie Summersgill, spokesperson for ABC News Digital Media Group.

Since the coverage came from the news division, not entertainment, there was no 5-second delay. "They are live as they happen," says Summersgill. "But we’re not on autopilot. There is a team in the control room to make sure our coverage meets the standards of ABC News." Of course this is the Internet, so arguably there is already that pesky built-in delay called ‘buffering.’