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Fox Mobile is rolling out its subscription mobile video service BitBop, making a wide range of TV content available on Blackberry mobile phones. The service, which costs $9.99 a month, includes full-length TV shows from a number of broadcast and cable networks available for streaming or download on WiFi or 3G networks.
Mobile video is catching on quickly, due to video-capable handsets such as the Apple (s AAPL) iPhone and mobile devices running the Google Android (s GOOG) mobile operating system. Strangely enough, Fox isn’t making BitBop available on either of those platforms at launch, deciding instead to introduce the new subscription service as an app on Blackberry mobile devices, including the BlackBerry Bold series as well as the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and the BlackBerry Tour 9630 at launch.
The BitBop service was launched as more video-centric services are becoming available on mobile phones. Live video from Major League Baseball has been available on the iPhone, Android and Blackberry mobile devices as part of its MLB.tv subscription service. And Netflix has announced plans to roll out an iPhone app for its Watch Instantly streaming service as a companion to its wildly popular free iPad app.
BitBop is rolling out with full-length TV programming, including content from broadcast networks CBS (s CBS), Fox (s NWS) and NBC (s GE), as well as a number of notable cable programmers such as A&E, Comedy Central (s VIA), Discovery (s DISCA), FX, MTV and USA. That could come as a blow to Hulu, which is rumored to be considering introducing its own subscription TV service that would launch with an iPad app.
While people are watching more mobile video than ever, the appetite for full-length programming is questionable. Despite operating for years, Qualcomm’s FLO TV has yet to attract the mass audience of users it expected for watching its live and on-demand video programming on mobile devices.
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