The nation’s second largest wireless phone provider, Verizon Wireless, officially launched its mobile television programming service, V Cast Mobile TV, in 20 markets today using the Qualcomm subsidiary MediaFLO’s network.
The basic V Cast Mobile TV service for now provides mobile phones with network content from CBS, Comedy Central, ESPN, Fox, MTV, NBC News, NBC Entertainment, and Nickelodeon. The phone currently only works on the new Samsung SCH-u620. The company expects to add the LG VX9400 to its lineup in the coming months.
For $25 dollars customers will be able to purchase the Mobile TV services as well as an unlimited V Cast on-demand services and Mobile WAP.
The 20 live markets are: Chicago, Ill.; Denver and Colorado Springs, Col.; New Orleans, La.; Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.; Seattle-Tacoma and Spokane, Wash.; Tucson, Ariz.; Albuquerque and Santa Fe, N.M.; Omaha-Lincoln, Neb.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Norfolk-Richmond, Va.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Palm Springs, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Wichita, Kan.; Las Vegas, Nev.; and Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo.
Programming will not simply be a simulcast of existing network programming, according to John Stratton, Verizon EVP and chief marketing officer, but “the best of what TV has to offer.”
The service will not, however, launch with any local programming.
According to Verizon Wireless spokesmen Jeffery Nelson the first Mobile TV account was sold Thursday afternoon at a BJ’s in Jacksonville, Florida.
Verizon’s announcement comes hours after MediaFLO rival Modeo held a press event touting a beta of its own mobile television service.