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The Mobile500 Making Strategic Moves to Launch National Mobile DTV Service

  • More than 70 television stations in 32 markets across the U.S. are already broadcasting some Mobile DTV programming, according to the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC). Mobile500 Alliance members believe that the success of Mobile DTV depends on both an acceptable business plan for the service and also the availability of unique content that maximizes the mobile user experience to supplement a station’s own local news, sports, weather, and other programming. Continued progress to reach those two goals is the focus of the Mobile500 Alliance.
  • Free-to-air Mobile DTV already has already entered the U.S. consumer market, with computer accessories, DVD players, and portable TV sets equipped to receive Mobile DTV signals. Other devices for tablets and even integrated smart phones have been shown as prototypes. If the U.S. market follows patterns seen in other countries with mobile television services — such as Japan and Korea — Mobile DTV receiving capability will soon show up as built-in features on a range of handheld devices. But, of course, that depends on the availability of a compelling lineup of channels for viewers to watch.
  • The Mobile500 Alliance member stations reach more than 90 percent of U.S. homes with over-the-air signals and collectively our members have approved a preliminary business plan designed to help expand the commercial availability of Mobile DTV broadcasts in the United States.
  • The Mobile500 Alliance plan calls for launching 15-20 Mobile DTV channels in markets across the country. The integrated user experience of the proposed service will provide mobile device users with a mix of free and subscription channels along Video On Demand content and data services delivered via Mobile DTV and through 3G/4G and Wi-Fi networks. The launch schedule is still to be determined, but we plan to start with the major markets and build out the whole country.
  • Before a full-blown 15-20 channel Mobile DTV service can be launched nationwide, Mobile500 is developing an interim programming strategy. Working with member stations and major content owners, we are exploring options for launching programming services built around the popular local news programming that most of our members already produce. We want to supplement that with compelling programming that “on the go” viewers will want to watch.

Background on The Mobile500 Alliance:

The Mobile500 Alliance was incorporated in December 2010 with the goal of creating a new growth industry around Mobile DTV.

The Alliance currently has 46 member companies, including two public broadcasters, which hold licenses to 420 television stations. The current DTV signals of these stations reach 92% of US TV households.

At the first-ever Annual Meeting in April, the membership unanimously approved the business plan presented by the board, with the understanding that it would continue to evolve. It authorized the board, executive director, and the Alliance’s business advisors to seek investors and strategic partners for the plan.