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The Sports Network, Contec expand mobile sports services

The Sports Network -- TSN -- and Contec Innovations have partnered on a new global mobile sports service, providing mobile access to all things sports for carriers, publishers and brands.

This service is now being readied for launch in early 2009. Covering more than 50 sports and hundreds of leagues and events worldwide, this initiative lets mobile consumers access up-to-date news, photos, scores and results, statistics and live action.

"Mobile will eclipse the Internet -- there are 3.3 billion handsets on the planet," said Mickey Charles, president/CEO of TSN, Hatboro, PA. "If you ask a room full of people 'Did anybody come here without a mobile phone?' no hands will go up, and if you ask, 'How many people have two handsets?' some hands will go up.

"With our plethora of sports content, we needed the best mobile application we could find, so we got together with Contec, and it was instant love -- what a great relationship," he said. "We have all the content, they have all the technology and marketing expertise, so it's become a perfect marriage.

"The strategy is to lead the industry in offering the best mobile sports service anywhere, regardless of sport, handset, carrier, country or language."

The partners' target companies that want to provide a mobile application for their audience - people interested in sports.

"In addition to our presence in North America, we're going East and working our way back into Europe," Mr. Charles said. "We're exclusive providers for NHL content, which is popular in the Scandinavian countries.

"We already get tens of millions of page views monthly, and we don't advertise, we're just there and people find us," he claims. "We contact our client base and, truthfully, one leads to another which leads to another which leads to another.

"We're not Microsoft, but we can get it into various sectors where the word will spread really quickly."

Available via mobile Internet, SMS and MMS, the service has three distinctive audiences at present: wireless carriers seeking to enhance their sports offering; mobile service providers that wish to add new services to their portfolios; and media companies and brands that sponsor mobile sports content in their local markets or on a global basis.

Both TSN and Contec say that they are already engaging partners, customers and sponsors interested in deploying the new mobile services.

TSN and Contec claim that dialogue is underway from North America to the Far East to expand the partners' entry into the mobile community on a worldwide basis.

Mobile consumers can play fantasy games for every sport, involve themselves with prediction games, submit commentary and personalize their experiences.

The partners' objective is to provide consumers with an all-encompassing mobile sports service that can grow with market demands, needs and suggestions. Their mobile offerings include content from basketball to soccer, golf to cricket, baseball to tennis, car racing to horse racing.

Available in a variety of languages, the service covers hundreds of local soccer leagues and international events.

The new service works on any mobile handset, from the iPhone 3G to the low-end feature phones that are common in emerging markets.

The Sports Network is an international real-time sports wire service that furnishes a plethora of content on a 24/7 basis.

Additionally, delivers proprietary global sports news data to thousands of sites online and, now, to mobile users globally in partnership with Contec Innovations.

BUZmob live mobile services enable carriers, media companies and service providers to generate new revenue from content services that engage mobile audiences worldwide -- on every handset and network worldwide.

Contec Innovations has a portfolio of live news, sports, entertainment and finance mobile content delivered as a full-managed service.

"Our offering is a business-to-business offering, and together with TSN we've created turnkey mobile sports services that can be rolled out by brands, publishers and carriers," said Don Lay, president/CEO of Contec, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. "We can deliver a wide variety of mobile services anywhere in the world."

TSN and Contec currently have content in English, Chinese, Thai and Bahasa Indonesian. They plan to support at least nine languages in 2009 and eventually as many as 100.

"We are a managed service provider, so our clients take our content and brand it, and we support them," Mr. Lay said. "Our joint customer could be an operator or media company, and there is big potential in delivering live mobile contentfor brands, especially sports content.

"It's an opportunity to create their own media property on mobile," he said.

The partners have relationships with AdMob and other mobile ad networks.

"You can't muck up a mobile applications with 10 advertisers, but we will have select advertisers -- the potential for advertisers is huge," Mr. Lay said. "With 600 million subscribers in China, even if we reach only a fraction of that it is good for us and for advertisers.

"We may add the option of paying extra for premium content such as gambling and text alerts, but the vast majority of content will be ad-supported," he said.