Queen of the airwaves

Staff Writer
15 Jun 2007


Second, it allows us to get NOW TV on more screens. On fixed-line, we have about 800,000 households subscribing now, but we're always looking to expand, and what better way than to extend our brand to everyone's small screen. I don't know how much of it you'll actually watch, but you'll see the logo every day, maybe start watching some of it and hopefully it'll build up with you.


Coming back to interactivity, what we've done is put the EPG [electronic programming guide] on the phone, so it's about cross-promoting our home offering. If you're out and you want to know what's on AXN tonight, you can check the EPG on the handset. In the future, when we launch PVR functions, you'll be able to find that program and pre-select the time or book a program via the handset. Putting the EPG on the phone is the first step to enabling that interactive function on mobile.


Charged: Talking of 3G differentiation, NOW has landed quite a few exclusive content deals like ESPN and English Premier League. Do those exclusive rights apply to mobile too‾


Janice Lee: In the case of EPL it does, because we acquired all live rights, so that's for TV, mobile, PC and our fixed line network, where we'll have a fixed-line phone with a screen on it. And of course it's not that we expect people to watch the whole game on mobile, but when you're rushing home on Saturday night and you can't make it in time for the game, if we can provide that gap that you're missing and then you can watch the rest of the game at home, that's the convenience we offer to them.


Charged: One of the benefits of IPTV is you can track viewership patterns more accurately than cable TV can. Is that true for mobile TV too‾


Janice Lee: Yes. We can report that back to the content providers, and it also helps us to fine-tune our offering. As I said, this is a new field, and we've got to learn from current usage behavior and build content that's more suited to the customers. For example, we're learning how much time people spend using our Moov [music] service, and can tailor how often we refresh the songs based on how long they use it.


Charged: Since you mentioned it, let's talk about Moov - why go streaming when everyone else is talking downloads‾


Janice Lee: The consumer proposition of downloads is that you charge HK$12 ($1.53) or HK$15 a song, and in Hong Kong the volume of that business hasn't been huge.


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