More Mobile TV Pessimism in Barcelona

It’s not that we want to kick dirt on it while it’s down, but mobile TV isn’t getting much respect this week. MocoNews reports that as a follow-up to yesterday’s post, another panel at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona cast doubt on the mobile TV market, saying that BBC Worldwide mobile director Peter Mercier cited M:Metrics stats showing just a 1.2 percent UK take-up:

“The hype you’ve seen at past 3GSMs [the former name for the Mobile World Conference] about mobile TV is not warranted by the real growth,” Mercier said. “Mobile video itself is probably one of the least used applications on a device. The demographic is almost exclusively male – this is nowhere near a mass-market proposition and nowhere near simple for us as a broadcaster to find a compelling place in. Over the last year, the number of mobile TV standards has actually increased rather than decreased. Getting an advertiser to fund something that consumers going going to have to pay for themselves really isn’t realistic.”

HBO International SVP Stanley Fertig said: “Other than for live sports, linear doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.” We don’t agree with that statement at all; most folks we speak to are enthusiastic about watching actual TV on their phones, but don’t care much for “bite-sized” video clips. And by the way, we really hate the word “bite-sized.” We’re not eating them, we’re watching them, thanks.