ITN to supply mobile phone video bulletins

ITN: news bulletins via mobiles

ITN has boosted its news supplier status by becoming the first UK organisation to broadcast video bulletins on the forthcoming third-generation (3G) mobile phones.

The news provider has signed a four-year contract to supply video-based bulletins to giant phone company Hutchison, for its “3” mobile phone service due to launch by the end of next month.

ITN will supply up to six bulletins per day, each of around 90 seconds. The bulletins will consist of the top national and international stories, updated throughout the day.

In addition, it will provide daily business and markets news, to be available before the markets open, breaking news and a special bulletin focusing on the day’s main story.

The 3 service will be the first in the UK to enable the sending of video messages, making ITN the first news company in the country to provide moving pictures for mobile phones.

The contract marks another milestone for ITN as it expands its output beyond TV news into new media, and comes a week after Hutchison signed up Reuters to supply a continuous, live feed of text and still pictures.

A Hutchison spokesman insisted the contract was not awarded after a pitch, but would not be drawn on details of the other broadcasters it approached.

Michael Jermey, ITN’s director of business development and launch managing director of the ITN News Channel, said he was in talks with “all the mobile operators” to supply a similar service, as and when their technology can receive video. The contract will create a few jobs to repurpose the news content for phone screens.

“We are happy to migrate from text news services. It means that as mobile phones begin to rely less on text and more on video, we’ll be well positioned,” Jermey said.

By Wale Azeez

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