FIFA World Cup to boost mobile TV in Africa - NSN
Thu May 7, 2009 9:11pm IST

By Tarmo Virki,

More than 10 mobile television broadcasting networks will be opened in Africa in time for the soccer world championships next year, said a senior official at Nokia Siemens Networks, a mobile TV technology provider.

Mobile television broadcasting, the hottest upcoming feature for cellphones only a few years ago, has so far found demand in only a few countries, but the industry is looking for the 2010 World Cup as an opportunity to turn the tide.

Stefan Schneiders, the head of Business Development for Mobile TV at Nokia Siemens, said he expects many African countries to shortly follow Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and Namibia, who have launched mobile TV broadcasts.

The World Cup, one of the world's most closely followed sports event, will be held in South Africa in June-July 2010.

"It is a very, very good opportunity. If you are a mobile operator you need something to link your marketing activity with," Schneiders told Reuters in an interview.

World football's governing body FIFA has forecast a record TV audience in Africa for the World Cup, with the cumulative global television audience seen on par with 26.3 billion reached for the 2006 event.

FIFA would be also offering live coverage specifically produced for mobile phones for the first time.

The most successful European mobile TV broadcasting network was launched in Italy ahead of 2006 World Cup.