T-Mobile Parent Deutsche Telekom Inks Multiscreen Deal With MobiTV

MobiTV, one of the more established mobile TV companies in the market today with deals in place with several major U.S. mobile operators, today revealed a significant deal to grow out its business in Europe: a deal with Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), one of Europe’s biggest operators, to develop a multiscreen IPTV platform.
Under the terms of the deal, Deutsche Telekom will work with the California-based MobiTV to develop an integrated video service for its customers that will work across mobile phones, tablets, PCs, connected TVs and set-top boxes.
It will be based on MobiTV’s TV Everywhere product, which provides a seamless digital TV experience, letting a user, for example, start watching a program on one device and continue watching it on another. That’s an area where many other device makers and operators are likely to be making moves in the year ahead — an idea being fuelled by all the speculation around Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) making moves in TV.
The companies say the deal announced today is the progression of a trial the two had already been working on for multiscreen services in Germany, and comes at a time when many players, from device makers to other pay-TV operators, are all looking at similar, multiscreen offerings.
It falls short, however, of some of the more innovative services we are increasingly starting to see: today’s offering from Samsung for a large selection of content across its multi-device Media Hub plus gesture control. And France Telecom, for example, recently announced a deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) to link up its IPTV service with its Kinect box for motion control and other kinds of interactivity.
France Telecom (NYSE: FTE), it should be noted, is more ahead in the TV game than most: it has been offering a kind of multiscreen service for some time now.
What a service like MobiTV and Deutsche Telekom’s could offer, potentially, is something that could work across multiple, multi-platform devices that are not vendor-specific.
TV Everywhere, announced formally by MobiTV last October, had been in the works for some time before then (it was demonstrated to me almost a year ago during the 2011 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona).
MobiTV, which filed for a $75 million IPO last September, has made other moves to enter the European market before with less success: it inked an early-stage — probably too early — deal with France Telecom’s Orange to offer mobile TV in the UK, but that deal ended in 2007 with no further big developments, until now.