Like a Virgin

From the Guardian (irritating registration required, but European privacy rules apply)

Watching TV on a mobile phone has proved less of a turn-on for British consumers than the telecoms industry had hoped, with Virgin Mobile understood to have sold fewer than 10,000 handsets for its mobile TV service, despite a major advertising campaign.

Virgin MobileConsidering that the British spend more time on mass transit, and non-voice mobile services thrive on the other side of the pond relative to the States, this doesn’t look good for Moribund TV‘s investors. As broadcasters are beginning to deal with the passing of traditional broadcasting and embracing the GoogleTube generation (see Moonves’ CES announcement), it boggles the mind how billions can be spent bring broadcasting to mobile phones.

Of course it’s hard to call “significantly less than 10,000” broadcasting – at less than 2,000 viewers per channel you’re getting into TV Weasel numbers. What’s really surprising, even to a mobile video skeptic like me, is that ESPN (now out of the MVNO business) and Virgin have had such disastrous goes at mobile video. These are marquee brands among the 18-34 set. MobiTV and it’s insidious marketing references to “TV snacking” doesn’t stand a chance.

Smell that? That’s VC cash exposed to a white hot burn rate.

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