Babelgum in major ‘free TV’ deal with Vodafone

12 Jan 2009

Dublin-headquartered internet television service Babelgum has launched a new internet mobile TV service with Vodafone in the UK, allowing contract customers to watch movies, music videos, comedy clips, sports and animation free of charge.

The Babelgum Mobile application is available to download from Vodafone live!, initially for contract customers with data bundles for the popular Nokia N96, N95 and 6210.

The programming content will feature ‘best of’ videos from artists such as Coldplay, Robbie Williams and Kings of Leon as well as web exclusives from the likes of Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, BBC comedy (The Officeand The Mighty Boosh) as well as bite-sized extracts from Sir David Attenborough’s BBC nature documentaries.

There will be music, animation and online competitions, with the first-ever Babelgum Music Video Awards, chaired by acclaimed film director and musician Michel Gondry, and previews taken from the new edition of the Babelgum Online Film Festival, chaired by award winning film director and producer, Spike Lee. The contests aim to discover new musical and filmmaking talent from all over the world.

Babelgum Mobile is integrated with the world of social networks. It allows users to share videos with others; vote for their favourites and take part in competitions; send videos by e-mail, and upload them on Facebook to share the fun with their friends.

All content will be streamed via Vodafone’s fast and reliable 3G network.



“Babelgum now becomes one of the first Web TV, mobile 3G TV and “free TV” all at the same time,” Babelgum CEO Valerio Zingarelli remarked.

“What sets us apart is that we’re the first independent online television company to cross over into full mobile internet, a truly original application and programming.

“Our content offering also reflects the new communication codes of the Web, with fast, fun entertainment that’s enhanced by high-quality, professional production standards,” Zingarelli said.

Using proprietary software, the Babelgum user-interface provides content owners with a secure platform supported by advertising on which to distribute their programming worldwide, and a unique business model that allows them to monetise their assets.

Babelgum’s content partners include the Associated Press, PBS, BBC, 3DD, VBS, Shine Limited, Gong Anime, IMG, Off the Fence and international film festivals such as Seattle, DC Independent and Encounters.

The list of advertisers includes brands such as Vodafone and Benetton Group. Founded in 2005, the company has 100 employees in Ireland, the UK, France, Italy and the US.

By John Kennedy