Broadcasters Negotiate for Mobile DTV Content Rights
WASHINGTON: Negotiations over the right to transmit
broadcast network programming to mobile devices are underway even as the
industry prepares to beta launch the service. In a conference call today with
the Open Mobile Video Coalition, Fisher Communications chief Colleen Brown
noted that broadcast content rights issues are “always negotiated individually.
I can’t speak for other companies, but it looks like progress is being made.”
She said “trade-offs were being made, but did not elaborate.
Television Broadcast editor Deborah
McAdams was then cut off attempting to ask her to do so.
broke news of the rights
issue in February when network and station executives at the Hollywood Post
Alliance Retreat in Rancho Mirage, Calif., said mobile rights were being
treated as a separate entity. (See “Who Has Mobile DTV
Rights?”) CBS, which is
especially solicitous of preserving its bandwidth for high-def, also wants
reliable audience authentication before it serves up content for mobile DTV. (See “CBS Won’t Pony Up for
Unmeasured Mobile DTV”)
The OMVC said in February that it formed an alliance with Harris Interactive
and Rentrak to measure mobile DTV consumer usage habits in the Washington, D.C.
test bed. Around 20 or so channels are supposed to launch there in early May.
Coalition spokeswoman Anne Schelle said 200 mobile DTV receivers will be
distributed to Sprint subscribers over a two-week period for what the OMVC is
calling its mobile DTV “showcase.” Schelle said no hard launch date has been
set because of the device distribution timeline. --
Deborah D. McAdams