An Unprecedented Coalition for Mobile Digital Television

A dozen major television groups in the United States create the National Mobile DTV Joint Venture. Belo, Cox, Fox, Gannett, Scripps, Hearst, ION Television, Media General, Meredith, NBC, Post-Newsweek and Raycom form a separate endeavor to reach 150 million viewers. The current state of the project is considered a "memorandum of understanding."

A mobile DTV experiment is schedule to start in Washington, D. C. in a week. According to National Association of Broadcasters president Gordon Smith the trial is mostly a congressional lobbying effort. Smith told Broadcasting and Cable website the Washington experiment is to "enable us to go to Congressional offices and show them the future." Smith predicts 150 stations in the United States will be on the air with mobile DTV by the end of the year.

TVNewsCheck reports the group of 12 station groups expects no less than ten channels of programming. Gannett Broadcasting’s Dave Lougee tells the website there will be more than ten channels and less than 50. He said "It’s going to be somewhere in between."

All current members involved in the venture have pledged cash, content, marketing and spectrum for the project. There is a lot of work to be done and none of the group executives would provide a date when the national service is to begin.

The venture grew out of the Open Mobile Video Coalition according to Lougee and Alan Franks of Post-Newsweek, as reported by TVNewsCheck. Cox president Sandy Schwartz explained to Broadcasting and Cable there are no contracts in place for hardware and software. There are no agreements with cellular telephone carriers to put television tuners in phones they sell.

Belo’s vice-president of technology Craig Harper discloses to TVNewsCheck Belo is investing in Harris technology to deliver mobile DTV in 15 markets.

"Through the Harris MPH platform, our increasingly mobile viewers will now be able to receive live, free, over-the-air local television programming such as news, sports, weather or other local content when and where they want it."

Next Broadcasting Newsroom Computing takes another look at the state of the economy.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

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