Four More Public Television Stations Join Mobile500 Alliance

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The Mobile500 Alliance has welcomed four new public television licensees into its membership. WTTW/Chicago, Maryland Public Television, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and New Mexico PBS are the latest non-commercial stations to join the Mobile500 Alliance, which is pioneering complete solutions for its members to roll out successful Mobile DTV services.

The four public broadcasters join a trio of public stations already in the alliance: MHz Networks/Washington, DC, WGBH/Boston, and Twin Cities Public Television/Minneapolis-St. Paul. WGBH, Public Broadcasting Atlanta, and New Mexico PBS are already broadcasting Mobile DTV.

Altogether, the Alliance includes 50 commercial and public station groups with 437 full-power television stations. Collectively, they reach 94 percent of U.S. television households with their regular DTV signals.

“When we founded Mobile500 in late 2010, our bylaws explicitly opened membership to all television broadcasters. We are delighted that these leading public stations have joined our ranks and hope more will make the same decision,” said Colleen Brown, president of the Mobile500 Alliance Board of Directors and president and CEO of Fisher Communications.

Dan Schmidt, president and CEO of WTTW/Chicago, said the decision to join Mobile500 came after the WTTW board formed a special committee to consider the best options for using WTTW’s broadcast spectrum. “We concluded that Mobile DTV held the most promise for extending our brand and services to new audiences, and we liked the open, entrepreneurial approach of Mobile500,” he said.

“Under FCC rules, public stations can fully participate financially in digital services like MDTV, and Mobile500 creates a pathway for them to do that,” said John Lawson, Mobile500’s executive director. Lawson was president and CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations from 2001 to 2008 and is actively recruiting public stations to the ranks of Mobile500.

Mobile500 has put together the world’s first complete solution for monetizing Mobile DTV using the ATSC A/153 technical standard. The Alliance’s solution will enable its member broadcasters to build new revenue streams through Mobile DTV. Following commercial soft-launches in Seattle and Minneapolis this June, Mobile500 will make the solution available to all its member companies.

The Mobile500 will demonstrate its solution for MDTV at NAB 2012 in Las Vegas next week. Its application for iOS devices supports audience measurement, guide data, channel logos, interstitial ads and banner ads. Live recording and time shifting of over-­the-­air MDTV content will be included through DVR style functionality built into the app.

Also included in the Mobile500 solution are new tuner devices, which are small adapter/dongles for iPads and iPhones. They will be available through online retailers in the summer of 2012.


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