Broadcasters Form Group to Commercialize Mobile DTV

A coalition of 30 TV groups announced Wednesday (Sept. 8) the formation of the Mobile500 Alliance to commercialize mobile digital television.

The Mobile500 Alliance is the second group of broadcasters to band together to bring mobile DTV to market. Last year, 12 TV groups, including network TV owners Fox, Ion Television and NBC Universal and groups such as Hearst Television, Gannett, and Meredith formed the Mobile Content Venture, which is working on aggregating digital spectrum to deliver content to mobile devices.

The two groups are barely indistinguishable in their mission to expand TV station distribution to mobile devices and monetize the digital spectrum. Both groups are building on the mobile DTV technology standards and activities of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, the policy and technology group for mobile DTV. And both groups will need to decide what content to offer and at what terms, for free or a fee.

Members of the Mobile500 Alliance (www.mobile500alliance.com) include companies such as Fisher Communications, Gray Television, LIN Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Local TV, LLC, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, and Tribune. Combined the groups own 346 full-power TV stations in 167 markets reaching 90 percent of the U.S.

“The Mobile500 Alliance aims to develop a Mobile DTV business model permitting consumers to view popular broadcast content, as well as non-broadcast content with enhanced features,” said Colleen Brown, president and CEO of Fisher Communications, Inc. and chair of the Mobile500 Alliance.  “To that end, we will work to secure content arrangements with program suppliers and enhanced consumer device features with electronics manufacturers.”