T-Mobile Adds Euro 2004 Packages to Growing Sports Revenue
By Eric Lin, Mon May 10 22:15:00 GMT 2004

Football is big business for T-Mobile in Europe. To capitalize on this Summer's Euro 2004 Tournament, they are introducing new messaging services for fans.

Subscribers can buy a season pass of SMS and picture MMS or video MMS sent at specific intervals during each of a team's matches. The picture packages will cost around GBP 5 (or EUR 4.50) per team, while the Video package will cost about GBP 10 (also EUR 10). T-Mobile expect that these prices will encourage people to buy subscriptions for more than just their home team.

For those who don't want to buy a season pass for other teams, or who need more frequent updates during a home team's game, T-Mobile will offer a per-game ticker as well. Because the updates are more frequent, this package will run EUR 1.49 per game for picture or EUR 2.49 for video.

T-Mobile is expecting these packages to do quite well. Football-related content including SMS and MMS updates already makes up about 40% of T-Mobile's data revenue in Europe. Remember years back when wireless content companies believed that all they had to do was offer sports, sun(weather) and stocks" to be successful? We groaned as each new service was announced, and then, predictably, failed. We were both wrong. It appears subscribers are willing to pay for specialized, timely sports content, but not for generic final scores.

Americans too, are learning from the success of T-Mobile and other European carriers. The National Basketball Association has made a deal with Nokia for a great deal of mobile content, none of which seems as timely as what T-Mobile will offer. Sprint will partner with Major League Baseball to offer audio broadcasts of games as well as a video channel of league highlights to their PCS Vision subscribers.