V-Me, ESPN Deportes Launch Mobile Interactive Services


In a sign of the growing use of mobile devices by Hispanics in search of news and entertainment, two Spanish-language networks are launching interactive mobile applications.

New York-based multicast channel V-me is expected to announce today (Oct. 1) a partnership with Miami-based interactive applications company Up-Mobile to launch V-me Móvil. The service allows viewers to interact directly with the network’s programming, including with live voting and polling applications built around the upcoming presidential election.

“With V-me Móvil, we can be everywhere our audience wants us to be, and with Up-Mobile we have to perfect partner to deliver that promise,” V-me President Carmen DiRienzo said in a statement.

V-me Móvil debuted with an SMS voting application tied to the network’s coverage of the Sept. 26 presidential debate, as well as the live forum held immediately afterward.

The company said it will now roll out additional mobile services, including SMS voting and polling, ring tones from its proprietary music shows, calls from popular V-me kids’ characters and video clips.

V-me reaches over 6 million Hispanic homes via public-TV stations’ digital multicast channels and digital basic cable. It’s also available nationally via satellite-TV providers DirecTV, Dish Network and Dish Latino.

In other mobile news, ESPN Mobile Web has launched ESPNDeportes.com, allowing users one-click access to news, scores and stats from the Spanish-language channel free to anyone with mobile Internet access. Users will need only to enter their 10-digit phone number to sign in for a host of free services, including soccer coverage from Latin America; news and scores from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League; and ESPN Deportes TV listings, among other features.

“ESPN recognizes that the U.S. Hispanic market is one of the most important mobile segments and that Hispanic users consume more content from their cell phones than the general market,” said vice president of mobile product and international digital media Oke Okaro.

ESPN’s Mobile Web is consistently one of the top 10 most-trafficked mobile Web sites in the U.S., Okaro added.