Privately-held QuickPlay Media Inc plans to deliver full length popular television shows to BlackBerry smartphone screens via Research In Motion's applications store after forging agreements with TV networks, including NBC, CBS Corp and MTV.
QuickPlay said it plans to offer the service through BlackBerry maker RIM's App World mobile application store, which is expected be unveiled at the CTIA annual wireless showcase in Las Vegas on Wednesday morning.
Toronto-based QuickPlay will charge a monthly subscription fee of $7.99 for its PrimeTime2Go service, which it will deliver only over Wi-Fi links, a short range high-speed wireless network, to help it provide faster download speeds.
The service will be available on BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Curve 8900, both of which have Wi-Fi links, and are sold by AT&T Inc and T-Mobile USA, a unit of Deutsche Telekom AG.
Apple Inc offers full length shows for its iPhone and some of its iPod music players via its iTunes store, but unlike QuickPlay it charges on a per-show basis rather than via monthly subscriptions.
While mobile video has been slow to gain widespread popularity in the United States, IDC analyst Scott Ellison said higher quality services -- where the viewer loads the show in advance and is not depending on streaming video over patchy cellular links -- is helping to boost demand.
People are beginning to use these devices to watch entertainment in places where they don't have a connection, on planes and in underground trains he said. I've been really surprised to see how many people are watching movies and TV shows on their iPhone.
NBC is a unit of General Electric Co, while MTV is owned by Viacom Inc.
(Editing by Andre Grenon)