Mobile Content Venture Gets in Gear

The joint venture formed by 12 TV groups to develop a new national mobile content service using the digital TV spectrum now has a name and an organization. Called the Mobile Content Venture, the group today named Erik Moreno, svp, corporate development for Fox Networks Group, and Salil Dalvi, svp, mobile platform development for NBC Universal digital distribution, interim co-general managers.

Moreno and Dalvi, who will keep their network jobs, will work closely with the venture’s newly established executive steering committee and lead product development, network planning and distribution for the planned service, which will deliver content to mobile devices.

“Erik and Salil have worked together effectively during the initial stages of this venture, and are immensely qualified to lead both the product and business development aspects of the service as it gets closer to launch,” said Rich Battista, evp of News Corp., who sits on MCV’s steering committee. “All the partners in the venture are committed to delivering a product that offers consumers incredible live and on-demand mobile media experiences, and we look forward to working closely with Salil and Erik to make that goal a reality.”

Fox, ION Television, NBC Universal and Pearl Mobile DTV’s nine broadcast members initially announced the MCV in April. The TV broadcasters intend to aggregate existing digital spectrum to deliver video and print content to mobile devices.

Broadcasters see mobile DTV both as an opportunity to monetize the digital spectrum and as an important demonstration of what broadcast can deliver at a time when the Federal Communications Commission is pushing broadband.

“We must develop a national service that melds broadband and broadcast,” Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations and a member of the MCV steering committee, said at a recent Open Mobile Video Coalition showcase in Washington, D.C. “One-to-one [Internet] cannot satisfy consumers in terms of scale and real-time information.”

Other members of the MCV steering committee include: David Lougee, president, Gannett Broadcasting; Roger Keating, svp, digital media, Hearst Television; Brandon Burgess, chairman and CEO, ION Television; Jean-Briac Perrette, president, digital and affiliate distribution, NBC Universal; and John Wallace, president, NBC Local Media.