NBC Sports, MobiTV Huddle for College Football App

Notre Dame football fans will soon be able to stream live games—or relive the school’s past pigskin glories—via their iPhones.

NBC Sports, the university’s exclusive broadcast partner for all of its home games, has partnered with MobiTV to launch a new application for Apple’s popular iPhone and iTouch devices. The Notre Dame Central App, which will cost users $6.99, will deliver eight live Notre Dame Football contests corresponding with NBC’s broadcasts, starting with this Saturday¹s (Sept. 5) home game against Nevada.

Plus, if this year’s team isn’t performing up to most Notre Dame fan’s high standards, they can use the app to view highlights from classic games from past decades. In addition, the app also offers access to video-on-demand highlights, live press conferences, statistics; and news and even delivers pregame alerts, which are accompanied by the university’s famous fight song.

The new Notre Dame app is the latest sports-themed application created by MobiTV, which is best known for its mobile TV subscription product, which delivers live linear channels like ESPN and Fox News to mobile devices. Earlier this year the company partnered with CBS to build an application, which delivered live men’s college basketball games during the NCAA tournament—i.e. The March Madness On Demand app.

“That really opened the door for us,” said Ray DeRenzo, MobiTV’s chief marketing officer. “We were known [primarily] for the core TV product. That app offered a pretty stellar experience. And then people started calling us.”

Recently the company built an innovative app for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a fast-growing mixed martial arts league. That app cost just 99 cents, but fans could opt to receive access to live UFC pay-per-view events in their entirety for $44.95. The next such event is scheduled for Sept 19.

That model “is intriguing,” said DeRenzo. But neither that app nor the Notre Dame application are ad supported. He eventually expects that dynamic to be less common. “The trend is towards advertising subsidized apps,” he predicts. “I think you’ll see more apps by developers that are maybe not fully ad supported but carry a modest fee.”

As for MobiTV, which claims several million subscribers, some have wondered whether the company is abandoning its subscription business in favor of becoming a full-time app developer. That thinking, however, is “definitely not true,” DeRenzo said. “Our strategy is a tiered strategy, with tier one being content delivery. We’re doing this to deepen our relationships [with key networks]. We’re not an app shop. We use these apps to innovate. We learn what’s really compelling and stick that in our core product.”