China firm mobilises for World Cup on small screen

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 May, 2006, 12:00am


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When the World Cup football tournament kicks off in Germany on June 9, so too will China's first mobile-telephone match highlights service.

Dragon Mobile, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, has secured the exclusive rights from FIFA, the world football body, to broadcast highlights of all the games to mainland mobile-phone subscribers. It has also teamed up with the country's largest mobile-phone company, China Mobile, to provide the package covering the four-week tournament for 25 yuan.

Allen Law, the founder of Zebra Communications, media agent for Dragon Mobile, expects the service to be a huge drawcard: 'There are currently over 600,000 users enjoying mobile TV services in China and we estimate the user number will triple to over 2.5 million during the World Cup.

'Some matches don't kick off until the middle of the night in China because of the time zone difference, so mainland users will be able to get all the match results and highlights from their mobile phones when they wake up every morning.'

Of course, it will also be a golden opportunity for advertisers to score with high-income, technology-savvy football lovers. They will be able to place their advertisements as banners or title sponsors for selected programmes in the mobile television interface.

Mr Law predicts that, as the tournament gets more exciting, the mobile highlights service will become more popular.

hello motomusic

Motorola is making a noise in China with its mobile music service. The US-based mobile-phone vendor has built a music download portal,, with over 20 local and international record labels providing 15,000-plus songs.

Mobile-phone users can download MP3 ring tones or full tracks of songs from the portal via their networks for two yuan a song, the charge being added to their service bill.

'The service has attracted over three million users,' said Motorola's general manager of North Asia, mobile devices, Michael Tatelman.

He added that the company sold more than 20 million mobile handsets last year, over 70 per cent of them mobile music compatible.

The company now has more than 30 handsets supporting music functions and also encourages users to share the music through the Bluetooth function.

'You can get the file from your friend's phone and store it. When you want to play it, you need to activate a code and the song will be charged to your phone bill,' Mr Tatelman said.

nestle's big break

Food giant Nestle scored a first in Hong Kong recently with one of the oldest advertising slogans in the world.

The company's creative agency JWT hired a window cleaners' gondola to spread its 'Have a break, have a Kit Kat' message on the outside of the China Chem Centre in Wan Chai.

Instead of polishing glass, the two 'window cleaners' enjoyed a cup of tea and a chocolate wafer biscuit as they rode the gondola up and down the building, stopping off at one floor to hand out Kit Kats to office workers.

'Office staff should have a break from the pressures of work from time to time,' said Iris Ng, JWT's account manager, adding that the campaign had been well received. 'It was a new outdoor media campaign and cost around $100,000.'

For the record, the 'Have a break' slogan first aired on television in Britain in 1957.