Mobitv was one of the only companies trying to bring video to mobile phones. Today, most consumers would recognize Mobitv as the company that brings live CBS Sports coverage and NBA games to our iPhones. What many don't understand, is that in order to get all that great content onto our tiny devices, somebody had to convince Sprint, AT&T, US Cellular and Verizon to play along, while at the same time licensing enough high quality television content to make it a worthwhile service - President and Co-founder Paul Scanlan is that somebody.The words "mobile entertainment" are so overused that they fail to capture any real meaning anymore, but in 1999
In addition to bringing on advisors with backgrounds in the two notoriously tough industries of telecom carriers and television, Scanlan offers some negotiation and contract advice.
Says Scanlan, "No one wants to be the only one doing something, but no one wants to miss out. You have to build contingencies into contracts so that everyone feel satisfied and like they're taken care of."
Scanlan explains that just as some startups have seen term sheets materialize after the first offer, telecoms and television networks were only eager to work with Mobitv after they'd learned their competitors had expressed interest. Scanlan realized that in order to get his telecom contracts signed he needed to add the contingency that big name content providers would come aboard. Meanwhile, television contracts were signed on the contingency that the product would only launch with 4 other major network deals.
Explains Scanlan, "My first piece of advice for those in business development is to endure it, because there will be days where your [potential partners] are blunt and they don't even pretend they want to meet you. [And second], a competitive thread can hold a lot of potential."
To check out the company built on a competitive spirit, you can purchase a $9.99 subscription or browse premium content apps through mobitv.com.