Virgin Mobile TV struggles

Virgin Mobile is said to have sold fewer than 10,000 Lobster handsets for its mobile TV service, despite a £2.5m advertising campaign and substantial investment in too-heavy former star of Baywatch and video Pamela Anderson,…

…Virgin Mobile TV subscribers pay £25 per month for free handset, free calls and access to five broadcast channels. It’s also available on prepay – 90 days free TV, then £5 a month – and Virgin Mobile recently dropped the price of the handset from £199.99 to £99.

Alan Gow, chief executive of Virgin Mobile, wouldn’t confirm the low take-up but said mobile TV was still in its infancy and suggested the lack of choice for handsets was also a factor. Virgin Mobile says it will add to the TV handset range later this year.

It’s also possible that the range of channels isn’t broad enough. Virgin Mobile’s own trials in Greater London showed that people were watching an average of 66 minutes across four mobile TV channels per week. The O2 trial in Oxford had a higher usage – four hours a week – from a service with 16 channels.

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