Cingular Launches Video Service

NEW YORK Cingular has introduced its much-anticipated mobile TV service.

The Cingular Video service, which runs over the company’s 3G wireless network, allows subscribers to access on-demand clips from a broad expanse of cable networks, including CNN, the Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, ESPN, Fox News and The Weather Channel.

The service is free of charge to Cingular’s 3G subscribers, although clips from HBO—which are branded under the network’s HBO Mobile banner—are available at a $4.99 monthly premium.

Cingular Video also includes local weather forecasts in 100 cities across the country, and offers subscribers exclusive content from Fox News.

Cingular spent $870 million last year in measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The client’s agency is Omnicom Group’s BBDO in New York and Atlanta, which this week launches ads supporting the service.

Other networks that have signed on with Cingular include the Fox broadcast net, Fuel, Speed Channel, Fox Sports, NBC, TV Guide Channel and Adult Swim. The non-ad-supported Turner Classic Movies will also make content available via Cingular Video, a first for the network.

A future deal with online entity CBS Sportsline is also in the works.

Cingular competitors Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless also offer video-over-mobile service. While preliminary research shows that younger demos are embracing the new media platform, there is still a lot of room to grow. A recent survey conducted by RBC Capital Markets said that about 75 percent of the consumers it surveyed said they had no interest in watching television on their mobile phones.