According to an article in OMMA Magazine last week, Sprint Nextel has promised to spend $7 billion by 2007 on its fast new Power Vision data network. It has arrangements with the NFL, Interscope Records, and the Tony Awards, among others. Sprint claims its NFL package offers the widest array of football information for wireless devices. The package, which is significant, includes a 24-hour feed of the NFL Network cable TV channel and what the company promises will be the freshest real-time statistics, scores, video, injury reports, and other updates for the upcoming season. "We were the first with live-to-cell phone video [in the U.S.]," says Steve Gaffney, director of sports marketing for Sprint. "And the company is committed to furthering its content strategy."
Growing the subscriber base is their number one challenge in attracting advertisers. Look at what'd happened to Mobile ESPN. Branding is another challenge, where it will be difficult to differentiate themselves from Verizon or Cingular based on video content. Video on cell phones is still in its infancy. No one has yet defined what is the killer video content.
Sprint acknowledges that challenges lie ahead, but says it expected them. "We didn't roll video out to essentially everybody in the country for nothing," says Sprint's Gaffney. "We know the churn rates with and without video. We know what it takes to make [videos] that work on cell phones. Now it's a matter of explaining what we know to everyone else."
Besides delivering video content, wonder whether they have considered deploying video telephony on their 3G network. I believe this will be the next killer content/function/feature as it gains general acceptance and popularity.