Disney unveils wireless content deals in US

LOS ANGELES (US): Walt Disney Co., DISH Network, wireless carriers AT&T Wireless Services and Sprint PCS Group have unveiled deals designed to generate revenue for Disney and attract subscribers to new cellular services.

Walt Disney Internet Group and AT&T Wireless say they have launched three subscription programmes on AT&T's mMode service, which is designed for phones with colour screens running on next-generation voice and data networks, says a Reuters report.

Disney's Magic Kingdom will offer colour graphics and games, Disney's Fun for Families parenting tips and entertainment services from Disney TV shows, and City Lounge will offer movie reviews and showtimes, among other features.

Disney's ESPN sports network will also offer its own mMode product, "myESPN," on AT&T Wireless. The $2.99 per month service will offer live player statistics, team news, injury reports and scoring data for athletic events.

In addition, Disney and Sprint say Disney's content is now available on Sprint's new PCS Vision service, its own high-speed advanced data network.

Disney said Sprint customers can download ring tones and screen savers, among others, for $1 to $2 each and games for $3 to $4 per game.

Among the ring tones to be offered on both services, are sounds including the theme from ESPN's flagship SportsCenter. The games include one based on characters from Disney's recent animated film Lilo and Stitch. Wireless content like ring tones and games has been hugely popular in more mature cellular markets like Japan and Europe, though carriers are hopeful similar offerings catch on in the US, where cell phones have traditionally been used more for utility than entertainment. Disney says it has taken in more than 2.5 million paid subscriptions to date for its overseas paid wireless services, which are now available throughout Asia and Europe.


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