The Volvo Ocean Race Mobile Channel will celebrate its 100,000th download today to demonstrate the growing importance of the mobile telephone as an entertainment and communications tool.
The Channel, which has been launched by race sponsor Ericsson, has proved enormously popular as phone users from every corner of the planet tune into audio and video highlights of the race using their WAP-enabled phones to keep them updated about the latest developments.
Grant Wharington’s arrival into Cape Town in Brunel Sunergy has so far proved to be the most watched footage of the race so far though the in port racing on 26 December is expected to attract even higher audience levels after the introduction of live streaming this weekend.
Other hits have included Gordon Ramsay’s cooking and yacht racing demonstration in Sanxenxo and an exclusive look at Pirates of the Caribbean, following the completion of the repair programme in Cape Town.
In addition to the video and audio downloads, around 155,000 people each day are picking up the news stories and a further 4,000 phone users are receiving SMS news alerts whenever a story breaks.
Dave Branigan, Volvo’s talented in house photographer has developed a new fan base after 7,000 of his pictures were posted up on the channel for phone users to download and enjoy.
For Ericsson, this high volume of downloads has come sooner than expected and represents a major development in the company’s plan to make the mobile media channel an integrated part of any event or production.
Geoff Hollingworth, Ericsson's head of the Volvo Ocean Race Channel: “We are delighted at the uptake of our service. It shows the value of being able to receive multi-media entertainment wherever you are and whenever you want it. We look forward to building on this great start as the race gathers momentum and the excitement increases.”