MobiTV: We’ll Play by the Rules

MobiTV aims to abide by rules rather than create new business models

MobiTV said it is poised to adhere to business rules governing video-distribution rights as it proceeds with a plan to help telcos, cable operators and others deliver video services to a wide variety of devices, including many sold at retail.

MobiTV and its approach is more about abiding by those rules rather than creating new business models, Kerry Travilla, vice president of technical services at MobiTV, said on a recent webcast hosted by Elemental Technologies, the multiscreen video-processing and packaging company acquired in 2015 by Amazon Web Services.

Last year, MobiTV introduced a white-label pay TV platform powered by software that runs on commoditized hardware and targets streaming devices as well and smartphones and tablets. Ridgeland, Miss.-based C Spire is among the first MVPDs to partner with MobiTV. Its mobile clients have included AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, among others.

MobiTV has been focused on over-the-top video, but it has been shifting to managed Internet-protocol video services that also support pay TV requirements such as Emergency Alert System messages, closed-captioning and secondary audio programming.

“We want to be known as an in-network, play-by-the-rules platform provider,” Travilla said.

In addition to a model that requires in-network headend integration, MobiTV is pursuing a hosted, nationwide offering for potential pay TV partners.

Another company looking to MobiTV for help is DirectLink, a Canby, Ore.-based telco that sells a live streaming service called EZVideo focused on local programming, including local broadcast channels, runs on Roku boxes, and leans on Elemental’s video platform.

EZVideo is a complementary offering being sold to digital subscriber line customers located too far from the company’s video headend or who can’t receive a decent off-air broadcast signal. It requires a connection of 10 Megabits per second, and customers can buy Roku boxes for the video service or lease a one from DirectLink (formerly Canby Telcom) for $3 per month.

Though a focus on local broadcast TV fits EZVideo’s sales demo, DirectLink is looking to add a “few more channels” to the service, as long as they fit within its distribution rights.