KOKI-TV, FOX 23, a local FOX affiliate in Tulsa, OK, has launched FOX23 Mobile, a free service allowing viewers to watch news, weather, sports and other video programming clips on their mobile phones for free. The station is using mobile media delivery and content management technology from U-Turn Media Group for the service.
Viewers sign up for the service by clicking on the FOX23 Mobile icon on the FOX 23 homepage, where they are directed to a page prompting to them enter their mobile phone numbers. They then receive an SMS message on their phone triggering the service. The application is automatically updated with any new video or text content from FOX 23 each time the viewer opens it. Among the content offerings are breaking news, weather, sports, entertainment and business video clips, along with text stories.
According to Holly Allen, station manager for FOX 23, her station has seen a surge of interest in the service among viewers in the few weeks it has been available. “We are already overwhelmed with the amount of volume that we’ve had with people signing up and using it.” She added that the station was looking to create further applications for the service in the future, including the targeting of users in specific zip codes for weather alerts.
Staff members at FOX 23 push news and other content periodically throughout the day to U-Turn Media Group servers, which in turn push the content out to mobile devices over a traditional cell phone network infrastructure. The U-Turn Media Group technology enables TV stations like FOX 23 to deliver branded mobile content to viewers without having to build a separate infrastructure. It allows for the delivery of audio and video clips and streams, text and images, as well as value-added services such as text messaging, through a portal situated directly on the mobile device.
Services like FOX23 Mobile allow TV stations to realize added revenue by repurposing local content for new media outlets, such as mobile devices and the Internet. Local advertisers sponsor the programming on FOX23 Mobile, which allows the station to offer the service for free.
Two other U.S. stations have already launched similar services using U-Turn Media Group technology: WISC News 3 in Madison, WI, and WKMG Local 6 in Orlando, FL.