ESPN, Airtel tie-up for Fifa WC on mobile phones

Live goal alerts. Live match updates. Live fixtures. Download mobisodes of previews and predictions. Contests and much more. The soccer World Cup anywhere and anytime. Football fans in India just got a bonus.

Airtel, a leading mobile services provider, today announced the launch of a host of services for the FIFA World Cup 2006 that will be exclusively available to the company’s subscribers.

The latest breaking team news, fixture listings, half-time and full-time scores and penalties will be available on SMS/ WAP alerts. Also, an Airtel customer may choose to receive SMS alerts on their favorite teams’ progress such as goals or score updates or match fixtures.

A dedicated news section on the World Cup 2006 will be available from 31 May to 9 July 2006.

The official statement quoted Hemant Sachdev, director, marketing and communications, Bharti Airtel Limited, as saying, “The Football World Cup connects billions of people across the world in a very special way. We are delighted that Airtel customers will now have the exclusive advantage of following their favorite team’s progress and accessing rich and exciting World Cup 2006 content on the mobile.”

Commenting on the tie-up with Airtel, ESPN Software India MD RC Venkateish, “As the leading sports network, we are focused on servicing the fan – that means making our sports content available anytime and any place through any pipe and any device. Through Mobile ESPN, we have merged what avid fans expect on our TV channels and on and created a third screen in sports.”

Airtel has also lined up exciting contests for its users during the World Cup. Call 646 and say “Scream”. Choose your favourite country and also your favorite ‘mood’– loud or funny. After that JUST SCREAM ‘GOOAAAL”. The winner will win an all expense holiday to their favorite football playing country.

How to access World Cup 2006 services on Airtel? Airtel customers can subscribe to these services by SMS & WAP. SMS WCG to 646 for alerts or visit Airtel Live from a GPRS enabled phone or dial 646

Services available on Airtel

[a] “ESPN Here We Go” – starting 8 June.

Made-for-mobile ‘mobisodes’ by ESPN Star Sports presenters. Each mobisode consists of 2-minute and 30-second previews clip on every World Cup 2006 match, which features match analysis and predictions by ESPN STAR Sports football analysts and pundits, as well as previous day highlights and team news

[b] SportsCenter: This section comprises 2-minute and 30-second video clips featuring daily bulletins and coverage of top sports stories from around the world.

SportsCenter Football Update: Dedicated news section on the world of football, with 2-minute and 30 second video clips featuring the latest match updates, summaries and results.

Special news report on World Cup 2006

[c] ESPN Football Live: Live alerts and news service providing the latest breaking team news, match updates and match fixtures. Match updates, goal updates, half time / full time scores, yellow / red cards information, penalties etc.

Match fixtures: List of upcoming matches

[d] ESPN Insider – starting 29 May.

Dedicated match preview service with expert analysis and opinions from ESPN Star Sports presenters and professional tipster. Pre-match analysis and predictions provided by ESPN Star Sports celebrity presenters such as Andrew Leci, John Dykes, Andy Penders, Paul Masefield or Steve McMahon.

[e] Mobile ESPN content on SMS – starting 9 June.

Live goals: live scores, half time and full time scores.

[f] Other sports content service offerings available for download- Starting 29 May.

Java games, wallpapers of popular football players.

Bharti Airtel Limited is one of India’s leading private sector providers of telecommunications services with an aggregate of over 22.07 million customers as of end of April 2006, consisting of more than 20.68 million mobile customers.

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