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Mobile mania: ManiaTV hits the road

June 11, 2008 |  4:25 pm

ManiaTV show host Dave Navarro

Tattooed rocker Dave Navarro talks about phone sex, bathroom etiquette, relationships and other "human conditions" on his very own show on ManiaTV, which says it is the world's first Internet TV network. Too racy for your taste? Maybe you'll be able to stomach him when he's one inch tall.

Starting today, you and all the adolescent boys who watch Navarro (at right) interview busty porn stars (really, are there any other kind?) will find a handful of ManiaTV shows on their mobile phones. Los Angeles-based ManiaTV has launched a mobile site with the assistance of Transpera, a Santa Monica company that helps power mobile videos.

ManiaTV got rolling after its head honchos saw young people watching TV online and wanted to give them something to watch. Now young people are viewing TV on their phones, ManiaTV CEO Peter Hoskins said.

The company plans to take existing shows and change the way they look for phones, sometimes shooting separate mobile segments.

"We're fishing where the fish are," Hoskins said.

Next up: It will produce shows that appear only on mobile phones, not PCs. The plan is to start with "branded entertainment" -- shows sponsored by advertisers -- and eventually the network may include ads before or after the shows. A few years down the line, the company might make one-third of its ad revenue from its mobile properties, Hoskins said.

It may be a bit longer than that. Only about 7% of 12- to 64-year-olds are interested in regularly watching mobile video on their cellphones, according to research firm Frank N. Magid Associates. They'd rather use their phones to send texts (27%), access the Internet (19%) or do their laundry (not really, we made that one up).

Who knows, maybe that number will increase if people flock to ManiaTV's site, feeling smug when  Navarro brags about his, er, physical gifts when he's only one inch tall.

-- Alana Semuels

Semuels, a Times staff writer, covers marketing and the L.A. tech scene

Photo courtesy of ManiaTV