Verizon to Offer TV Shows on Cellphones

Verizon to offer TV shows on cellphones: NY Times Verizon Wireless is expected to announce on Sunday that it will offer full-length programing to its cellular subscribers from major U.S. television networks, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Citing "people apprised of the deal," the Times said that the service, which should be in operation by the end of March, will consist of eight channels and will include popular shows from NBC, CBS, Fox and MTV. ESPN is reportedly also in negotiations to offer programs, which will be offered for the cellphone screen soon after they appear on television, the newspaper said.

Verizon is joining MediaFLO U.S.A., a subsidiary of Qualcomm which has created technology to transmit high-resolution video through its own dedicated network, for the service, the Times said. Sources with knowledge of the deal told the newspaper that MediaFLO was also in talks to offer TV shows through other wireless phone companies.

According to the deal, media companies would receive fees based on consumer subscriptions. The newspaper said a Verizon Wireless spokesman could not be reached for comment on Friday night.

The programs would be among the first full-length television shows to be offered to cellular subscribers in the United States, the Times said. The deal could help make mobile phones more competitive with Apple Computer's iPod, after Apple said in 2005 it would offer shows from the ABC network for sale, the paper added.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLc.

Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited.

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