Cable Networks Go Mobile for Holidays

Not waiting for cable operators to act, the big cable networks are invading the wireless phone space in a big way. In the most recent move late last week, MTV Networks unveiled a deal to provide music and video content to Amp'd Mobile Inc. for its forthcoming mobile-phone service, as well as take an undisclosed stake in the startup firm. Amp'd plans to market video clips, ring tones, screen savers and wallpapers from such MTV Networks channels as MTV, Comedy Central and Spike TV. The MTV deal follows closely on the heels of a mobile phone pact between HBO and Cingular Wireless. Under that agreement, also announced late last week, HBO will supply video clips from its series, specials and sports programming for the phone company's new "Cingular Video" service, which is slated to debut early next year. In addition, ESPN inked agreements with six major sponsors late last week for Mobile ESPN, the network's new national wireless phone service. The six advertisers are Cisco Systems, Coors, General Motors, Hilton, Nike and Visa. ESPN plans to launch the service with Sanyo phones in retail stores in early February.
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