In a bid to accelerate the adoption of mobile television, 30 broadcasting companies have set up the Mobile500 Alliance. The group,
representing some 346 full power stations broadcasting in 167 markets,
hopes to build on the mobile DTV standards efforts of the Open Mobile Video
Coalition and to help the industry develop a sustainable nation-wide business
model for mobile TV by working closely with both content providers and device
manufacturers to secure content rights and better devices.
"The expansion of mobile DTV provides local broadcasters
with another way to deliver the information local viewers need and rely upon,
especially as consumers increasingly turn to their portable devices for
personalized content," noted Fisher Communications president and CEO Colleen B.
Brown, who is serving as the group's chair, in a prepared statement. "We look
forward to working with our broadcast partners, content providers, device
manufacturers and others to develop an efficient and economical mobile DTV
Besides Brown at Fisher Communications, executives from
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Fisher Communications, LIN Media, Schurz
Communications, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Titan Broadcast Group were
involved in the group. Overall, the members of the group own stations covering
about 90% of the U.S. that reach about 263 million
The organization's wide membership base illustrates both the
industry's optimism about the potential for mobile TV and a widespread
recognition that some business models need to be strengthened before the
technology can take off.
About 50 million people already own smart phones and that
ownership is growing rapidly, seeing a hefty 8% spurt in a recent three month
period, according to data cited by the Mobile500 Alliance.
"With another group of broadcasters now assembling business plans for
Mobile Digital TV, the Open Mobile Video Coalition is pleased to have
more interest in this technology that has started delivering favorite
channels to consumers in a few markets," said OMVC
Executive Director Anne Schelle. OMVC is currently field testing mobile
DTV in the Washington, D.C., area. "As business models are developed,
we expect to see more broadcasters sign on-the-air with Mobile DTV to
join some 40 stations that are already on-air
with TV transmissions optimized for mobile reception."