News 12 goes mobile; Provides users with quick access to the information they can already get elsewhere

News 12 to GoThere’s nothing spectacular about News 12 Networks’ announcement and I’m wondering why I’m writing about it. :)

They’ve launched “News 12 to Go” mobile service which “conveniently delivers continually updated local traffic, weather, and news information to users over their cell phones.”

Aside from the idea to get into mobile market, I don’t see much of a point here. Maybe News 12 fans can explain me things I don’t understand, but this information is already available from a number of other sources. Heck, you can pick some mobile widget platform and get the info that way.

Anyway, if you happen to receive News 12 as part of your cable TV subscription, the new service is free to you. And (even better?), if you happen to have the web-enable mobile phone, you can also access “additional benefits and advanced features.” Yeah, whatever… Full release — if anyone cares — is available after the break.

PRESS RELEASE – News 12 Networks today announced the launch of “News 12 to Go,” an innovative service that conveniently delivers continually updated local traffic, weather, and news information to users over their cell phones. This free enhancement allows Cablevision customers who receive News 12 as part of their cable television service to access live audio streams of both News 12 and News 12 Traffic and Weather simply by dialing a phone number. Web-enabled cell phones can also access additional benefits and advanced features. With the launch of News 12 to Go, tri-state residents can access local news and valuable traffic and weather information wherever they are, whenever they want.

“News 12 to Go represents a new era for local news, and the continuation of a commitment to deliver our award-winning news and information to customers on an expanding array of platforms,” said Patrick Dolan, President of News 12 Networks. “Whether a viewer is watching News 12 on television, using the advanced features available through News 12 Interactive, visiting us on the Web at News 12.com, or accessing immediate traffic and weather information over a cell phone through News 12 to Go, we’re providing a valuable and intensely local experience that is not available from anyone else.”

The News 12 to Go service allows users to access local traffic and weather information from their local area and from every other area served by News 12. Upon dialing, callers are automatically connected to the News 12 Traffic and Weather channel from their area. A voice menu allows users to access both the News 12 and News 12 Traffic and Weather feed for any area they may be interested in, including Long Island, Connecticut, Westchester, the Hudson Valley (serving Rockland and Orange Counties), the Bronx, Brooklyn, and New Jersey.

“The service is very easy to use,” said David Kirschner, General Manager of News 12 Interactive. “It’s a simple phone call or, for users with Web- enabled cell phones, a very simple web application that unlocks even more features. Best of all, callers can access local information for the entire tri-state region. If a Long Islander wants to travel to Westchester County or New Jersey, they have the benefit of hearing local traffic reports for each leg of the trip, in real time. Radio traffic reports that try to cover the entire region every ten minutes can’t deliver the kind of immediate and highly specific information available through News 12 to Go.”

News 12 to Go is a free service for Cablevision customers in New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Participants need only register their phones for the service by going to news12.com or Optimum.net and entering their Optimum user ID and password to receive the phone number needed to access the audio stream from their local News 12 and News 12 Traffic and Weather service. This regular phone call incurs no additional charges outside of cell phone carrier phone usage, if applicable. Users are encouraged to put the phone number on a speed dial setting for easy access.

Customers with Web-enabled phones can also access other advanced features, including text-based top stories and local weather reports and extended forecasts. Video-enabled phones can download top stories as video files and complete forecasts can be accessed as well. News 12 to Go is a free service, but cell phone providers may charge fees for Internet usage and all users are encouraged to review their specific cell phone package for relevant terms.

News 12 Networks is the country’s first, largest, and most watched 24-hour local television news network. The Network is made up of 7 individual 24-7 local news channels serving the areas of Long Island, New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, Westchester County, Hudson Valley, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, 5 individual 24-7 traffic and weather channels serving the areas of Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, the Hudson Valley, and New York City, and an interactive division which includes news12.com and Cablevision’s iO TV channel 612. News 12 Networks is a cable exclusive service, reaching approximately 3.8 million households in the New York market. News 12 Networks is owned and operated by Cablevision Systems Corporation.

Cablevision Systems Corporation is one of the nation’s leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve more than 3 million households in the New York metropolitan area. The company’s advanced telecommunications offerings include its iO: Interactive Optimum digital television, Optimum Online high-speed Internet, Optimum Voice digital voice-over-cable, and its Optimum Lightpath integrated business communications services. Cablevision’s Rainbow Media Holdings LLC operates several successful programming businesses, including AMC, IFC, WE tv and other national and regional networks. In addition to its telecommunications and programming businesses, Cablevision owns Madison Square Garden and its sports teams, the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty. The company also operates New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall, and owns and operates Clearview Cinemas.

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