Weume Infosys bags mobile rights for Fifa World Cup

MUMBAI: Swiss sports event marketing major Infront Sports & Media AG has sold the India territory mobile broadcast rights for this year's Fifa World Cup to Weume Infosys Private Limited, a Chennai-headquartered provider of mobile content and Internet services.

Infront made the announcement as part of four agreements it has signed for its World Cup new media rights package; the other three territories being France, Canada and Sweden.

The agreements enable the licensees to transmit up to four minutes of key match footage for "near-live" and/or delayed coverage over the Internet and/or via mobile networks to mobile phones, geo-blocked for user access only within each territory.

The exclusive mobile broadcast rights Weume Infosys has acquired, covers English and Hindi languages and applies also to archive video material of the 2002 event, which took place in Korea and Japan.

Weume (pronounced as We-U-Me) will distribute the content through Weume's portal as well as mobile networks and mobile portals within the territory. The company's target is to reach approximately 85 million subscribers, the announcement states.

Meanwhile, telecommunications operator France Telecom has secured the non-exclusive French-language rights for Internet highlight coverage of all World Cup matches for the territory of France. France Telecom will offer the match footage via its Internet platform.

In Canada is Rogers Communications Ltd, a diversified Canadian communications and media company, that is exclusively licensing the English-language Internet and mobile telephony rights in Canada to all 64 matches of the World Cup as well as archive material from the 2002 edition of the tournament. Rogers will leverage the rights acquired on its multiple platforms including Rogers Wireless, Rogers Cable and Rogers Yahoo! Hi-Speed Internet. Rogers Sportsnet, a subsidiary of Rogers Communications, is already a World Cup television rights holder.

Swedish territory rights have gone to the Scandinavian nation's largest commercial television broadcaster TV4 AB, which has acquired the Internet and mobile telephony rights to all 64 matches and archive access to 2002 tournament's matches in Swedish and English languages. TV4 is already a television rights holder.

Infront has so far concluded new media agreements for almost 100 countries worldwide. With more such deals in the pipeline, Infront asserts that the 2006 Fifa World Cup will be the most diversified of any international sports event to date.

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