Rok Launches Mobile TV Service In US

Rok TV has launched its service in the US, offering 13 channels for 99c a month each. The service uses a downloadable application and can run on both 2.5G and 3G networks…Rok is quick to take a dig at competitor MobiTV by referencing a recent survey: “Even though ROK TV was running over 2.5G it beat out 3G services — Hutchison’s ‘3’ and Orange — both run by US-based MobiTV.”
Rok has licensed content from over 50 content providers and will be using it to extend the number of channels it offers in the coming weeks (current channels are available here). The price seems pretty reasonable, but I’m certain it doesn’t include data, which would have to be taken into account.
Rok also plans on-demand and premium programming, as well as featurs such as Rok Star. “A viewer can be watching a game show or shopping channel, press the ‘star’ key, and a transparent overlay rolls over the screen which lets the user interact with the program. This could be anything from voting, to messaging, to purchasing a product or ring tone, without having to stop watching the program.”
Rok also plans to launch in Turkey and Thailand at the beginning of September, and South Africa and Malaysia in October.
Rafat adds: I’m skeptical of Rok’s business model, and need to see some real numbers, or third party verification, on Rok’s consumer growth or the fact that its model works. It is one of those companies which issues a release for every thing its does…something I’ve criticized a lot of startups for. So unless I get some data, signing deals doesn’t mean anything.