Third-generation mobile phone operator 3 is claiming to have pulled off a coup by offering football highlights to its subscribers several hours ahead of the BBC's television coverage.
Customers of 3 will be able to watch highlights of the goals in the coming Premiership matches at 5:15 p.m. on Saturdays, and five minutes after the final whistle of Premiership and Champions League games on other days.
The BBC's Match Of The Day isn't scheduled to begin until much later in the evening, giving 3 the opportunity to pitch its high-speed mobile service at soccer fans who want to see the day's action as soon as possible.
"We are delighted that our customers won’t have to wait until 10: 30 p.m. to see the goals on TV. The new highlights package demonstrates our commitment to offering our customers the best mobile sports service in the UK," said Gareth Jones, 3's chief operating officer.
Sports highlights are one of the key parts of 3's customer acquisition strategy. It has offered Premiership highlights since it launched -- but not so soon after the matches finished -- and recently provided highlights from Wimbledon.
3 was the first company to launch a 3G network in the UK, ahead of Vodafone, Orange and T-Mobile. However, unlike these rivals it doesn't yet offer a data card, and is concentrating on 3G handsets.