The Wall Street Journal today has published a technology section that includes an article about the integration of traditional television programs with new media such as computers, portable media players and cellular phones.
The article focuses (although not exclusively) on NBC’s efforts. This fall NBC will offer a variety of TV offshoots for the Web, cellular phones and Apple iTunes.
Programs for cellular phones will be available for free, assuming you subscribe to your cellular operator’s video package. NBC will include advertisements, but the type/mix of banner ads and video commercials hasn’t been decided yet, the WSJ reports.
NBC “Black Donnellys” offshoot
One show with Web and cellular offerings will be the "The Black Donnellys," a new show about organized crime.
“There will be Webisodes with the show's narrator divulging the history of the Donnelly family. There's also a blog from the executive producers focused on putting the show together,” the article says.
One of the leaders in cellular phone programs is News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox that established Fox Interactive Media to develop and coordinate these efforts.
Sprint TV “Prison Break”
In addition to creating cellular-only “mobisodes” of the TV show “24,” Fox is developing “Prison Break,” a series exclusively for cellular, the article notes and a detailed press release in April says.
The show is on Sprint TV and since I’m testing two Sprint Samsung phones (a900 and a920), I checked to see if it was available. Yep, there are 12 “Prison Break” mobisodes (see left) under the Fox menu, that also includes an X-Men trailer. So I watched the first mobisode of "Prison Break" on the a900 and took a few photos.
Interestingly — and no coincidence, I assume — the first shot of the first episode features a woman staring at a Sprint camera phone and looking an MMS picture message that might set the tone for series (see left). A guy is in prison and he wrote that he didn’t do it and needs the woman’s help.
I watch very few TV programs. In fact, the only show I watched regularly was "The West Wing" but that, alas, ended yesterday. The first mobisode of "Prison Break" looked pretty good and the quality over Sprint's 1xEV-DO network was just fine.