Soccer highlights to be streamed on mobiles

Hutchison 3G Italia deal will see video highlights of key matches delivered over next-generation mobile phones

Italian football fans will be able to watch match highlights on their third-generation (3G) mobile phones from the summer of 2002, according to Hutchison 3G Italia.

The mobile phone service provider, which is part of Hutchison 3G, has acquired exclusive rights to broadcast highlights from the games of five Italian football clubs -- AC Milan, Juventus, Bali, Genoa and Salernitana. It hopes to begin transmitting highlights in time for the 2002-03 season.

Speaking at a news conference last week, chief executive Vincenzo Novari refused to give financial details of the deal, but explained that it might make more football content available to its subscribers. "We are in talks with other clubs, and also have the rights of resale to other operators," he said.

On Thursday, Hutchison announced that it was going to spend $5.26bn (£3.63bn) over the next four years developing H3D, its Italian UMTS venture. Hutchinson does not operate a GSM network in Italy. Some analysts believe that companies who attempt to operate 3G networks in countries where they do not have an existing presence will struggle to succeed in what will be a difficult market.

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