ROK gets £665m call to bring mobile TV to China

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The Independent Online

A British company has signed a deal to provide China Mobile with the technology for the country's first live mobile television service. The deal could net £665m over the next three years.

China Mobile, with 350 million subscribers, is the world's largest mobile phone company. Privately owned ROK, run by entrepreneur Jonathan Kendrick, signed the agreement last week with Shanghai Media Group (SMG), the only company allowed to provide content to China Mobile.

China Mobile customers subscribing to the service will be able to watch eight live television channels. Three will be in English and five in Chinese; they will include entertainment, children's television and news. To comply with government censorship rules, the live news channel will be run with a 10-second delay.

The companies are aiming for 10 million China Mobile customers to subscribe to the television service within three years. Each subscriber will pay £3.20 a month for the service with ROK, SMG and China Mobile sharing the revenue.

China Mobile is adding roughly four million cus-tomers every month. The television service will use 2.5G phones.

Mr Kendrick said: "To be at the forefront of the deployment of mass-market mobile TV... is incredibly exciting. The potential of mobile TV worldwide is staggering, so we are delighted to be the technology provider for these services ."

The ROK group was set up by Mr Kendrick, who began his career with tyre company Goodyear Racing. The ROK empire encompasses ROK TV, ROK Radio, ROK Lotteries, ROK New Net - the operating company in China - and jewellery business ROK Diamonds.