Friday, August 5, 2011

Goin' Mobile - Local TV stations to join the fray

The Open Mobile Video Coalition reported that, based on a survey of its members, 126 local TV stations will be broadcasting mobile digital TV  (mobile DTV) programs by the end of the year.  As most are in larger markets, this suggests that about two-thirds of US homes will be able to receive the signals.  The bad news is that the press report indicates that it's quite likely that no one will be able to watch it, as the the trade group is still working on finalizing standards and providing the technical specs for receivers.  The group doesn't anticipate mobile DTV receivers to be available until sometime next year.

Two other groups have emerged with plans for programming.  The Mobile Content Venture, comprising NBC, Fox, and 10 major station groups, promises to provide national programming (from Fox, NBC, and Telemundo) and some local programming from group stations.   The other programming group, the Mobile 500 Alliance (representing more than 400 stations), will emphasize local programming.  Both plan to start as ad-supported channels, with the potential for some content to require subscriptions at some point in the future.

If I recall correctly, this is about the fourth plan to be announced for local TV stations to use part of their digital signal to provide video programming to mobile devices.  If you add in the various apps and IPTV sites accessible to smartphone and tablet users, apps for major streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu, and the promise of "TV Everywhere", the mobile video field is getting quite crowded.

Source: "Mobile DTV Tally: 126 Stations By Year's End", TV News Check

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