LAS VEGAS--Full-length TV shows are coming to BlackBerry devices as QuickPlay Media has announced it will offer a new TV download service for the smartphones via the just new Research In Motion applications store.
QuickPlay is one of the first companies to offer an application through RIM's BlackBerry App World virtual store. RIM announced the new applications store Wednesday morning. And co-CEO Mike Lazaridis is expected to show off the new storefront during his keynote speech Wednesday here at the CTIA Wireless 2009 trade show.
The QuickPlay video service called Primetime2Go will cost $7.99 a month. It will provide full episodes of popular TV shows from several TV networks including NBC, MTV Networks, CBS, and the CW. (CNET News is owned by CBS.)
As previously reported, the service will only download shows over a Wi-Fi connection. And currently the service will only be available on the BlackBerry Bold, which is sold by AT&T and the BlackBerry Curve 8900, which is sold by T-Mobile USA. The service will likely be available on future BlackBerry devices that also run the company's latest version of its operating system, Mark Hyland, vice president of marketing said.
The only other requirement for the service is that users must have an SD memory card for the phone. The Bold comes with a 2GB card and the 8900 has a 1 GB card, which Hyland said can provide about five hours of recording time.
For now the TV shows that are downloaded will not have advertisements in them. But Hyland said this may change as the service evolves.
There are already several mobile TV services available for phones. Apple's iTunes store delivers full-length TV shows. But users must pay on a per-show basis instead of a subscription. Qualcomm's MediaFlo offers live TV programming. And MobiTV, which is available through a variety of operators, delivers a mix of full-length TV shows, live programming, and made for mobile video. MobiTV has developed a special application for business users that tailors business news and information and is available on the BlackBerry Bold. It will soon be offered on other BlackBerry handsets such as the BlackBerry Storm.
Even though there is no shortage of options for watching TV on phones, the service has been slow to take off. But experts believe that mobile TV is on the rise and will grow over the next few years. Of course, the economic downturn could affect adoption. Hyland said his company is conscientious about consumers looking for value.
"Of course we understand there is concern over the economy," he said. "That's why we priced it at $7.99. So for the cost of two lattes in a month people can have access to great programming. And we think that's a good value."