‘Mobisodes’ Stir Up NATPE

Jan 31, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Producing “mobisodes,” the new catchphrase for television content made for mobile phones, was among the most buzzed-about ideas during the National Association of Television Program Executives convention last week in Las Vegas.

The concept was discussed during NATPE panel sessions as well as during “NATPE Mobile++,” a day-long symposium produced by iHollywood Forum and held Jan. 24, the day before the convention officially got under way. In addition, Twentieth Television and Verizon Wireless announced Jan. 24 that they will bring two direct-to-mobile filmed series to Verizon cellphone customers.

NATPE President and CEO Rick Feldman said NATPE will hold “Mobile++” again next year with iHollywood. The event exceeded expectations, he said. “It was our first one,” Mr. Feldman said. “We figured we’d walk before we would run, but we could have been running.”

Under terms of the Twentieth-Verizon agreement, Twentieth will produce one-minute original mobisodes of the serial dramas “Love and Hate” and “The Sunset Hotel” (26 mobisodes of each series), designed specifically for V CAST, the new 3G multimedia wireless service from Verizon, and Vodafone’s 3G Live!

Verizon Wireless and Vodafone will distribute the serialized live-action series to V CAST and 3G Live! customers.

“Who knows, maybe in three years mobile will be such a part of the business it may be part of the mainstream program,” Mr. Feldman said.

Still, some doubt remained about the content form.

During one panel session Nancy Tellem, president of CBS Paramount Network Television Entertainment Group, said there’s potential in such new technology in the content business, but there’s not yet a working economic formula for them.

During NATPE’s opening session, the featured speaker, billionaire media mogul Ted Turner, said of mobisodes: “You’ve got to have good glasses. I like my television a bit bigger.”