The rapid proliferation of text-based sports bulletins, video clips of match highlights and streamed video of key events will see global revenues from mobile sports services more than double during 2005 to US$1.3bn, according to a report from Juniper Research.
But while Europe will continue to account for the bulk of revenues from such services in 2005 – 69pc of the total – Asia and the US are both expected to experience a dramatic increase in service usage, with the US mobile sports market worth more than US$1bn by 2009.
The report’s author Dr Windsor Holden commented: “Sports services, even news alerts, are a comparatively recent phenomenon in the US.
“However, operators are rapidly building up extensive portfolios of sports services: Verizon now offers content from Fox and ESPN Sprint from CBS, Sports Illustrated and MLB. As subscribers become more accustomed to using handsets for non-voice services, it seems likely sports content will be among the most popular and lucrative of US mobile entertainment services,” Holden said.
The report also covers the burgeoning market for mobile infotainment services, ranging from text-based interaction with TV shows such as Big Brother to picture messaging-based mobile soaps, a market expected to reach US$4.5bn by 2009.
According to the report, there will be more than 210 million users of mobile sports services worldwide by 2009, including 120 million in Asia alone. The North American share of global mobile sports revenues is to rise from 1pc in 2004 to 26pc in 2009, it stated. As well as this, more than 380 million mobile users – or 21pc of the global subscriber base – are expected to use some form of mobile infotainment service in 2005.
By John Kennedy