TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Sprint Offering Full-Length Movie Downloads

Sprint Offering Full-Length Movie Downloads

Robert McMillan (
Sat, 10 Dec 2005 23:16:53 -0600

By Robert MacMillan

Using a mobile phone to buy movie tickets and check showtimes is one
thing, but Sprint offers the whole movie.

Sprint Nextel Corp. is expected to announce on Monday that it has
begun selling a service which allows users of its mobile video phones
to watch full-length movies, television shows, concerts and comedy

Provided by vendor MSpot, the service offers unlimited shows and
movies for a monthly flat fee of $6.95, on top of regular service

The announcement comes as Sprint and other wireless phone services are
looking to video content like TV programs, music and sports to boost

They also are spending billions of dollars building up their networks
for mobile video and speedy Internet service so they can grow revenue
despite cheaper calling plans and a shrinking pool of first-time
wireless phone subscribers.

The initial lineup includes films that are far from anyone's first-run

Among them are "One-Eyed Jacks," the Marlon Brando-Karl Malden
Western, as well as "Angel and the Badman" with John Wayne. Other
titles include "Night of the Living Dead" and the most recent --
"Short Circuit" from 1986.

"This is what we could get rights to quickly," said Dale Knoop,
Sprint's general manager for multimedia services. He said the company
and MSpot are in negotiations for more current content, but declined
to say which studios are involved.

Sprint plans to debut seven new films a week.

Knoop also declined to say how many people have watched the films.

One question facing Sprint and the wireless industry is whether
handheld-device users want to watch a feature-length film on a 2-inch
or 3-inch screen.

Sprint found that many people have a shorter attention span when it
comes to mobile phone video, a Sprint spokeswoman said. Allowing for
that, the service lets viewers watch movies in segments, similar to a

Apple Computer Inc. also is exploring longer video content. The
company earlier this week said it would offer iPod downloads of
full-length NBC-owned television shows, including recent ones such as
"The Office" and "Law & Order," as well as older shows like "Alfred
Hitchcock Presents" and "Knight Rider."

It also offers replays of ABC programs "Desperate Housewives" and
"Lost." The NBC and ABC shows cost $1.99 each.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

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