Broadcast Consortium Selects Executives to Lead ‘Mobile Content Venture’

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES: “Mobile Content Venture” is the official name of the initiative launched by 12 broadcast groups during the NAB Show in April. The venture was formed to create a cohesive national business model for over-the-air mobile digital television, now being demonstrated in Washington, D.C.

The name was released today along with an interim executive leadership team. MCV will be led by Erik Moreno, senior vice president of corporate development for Fox Networks Group, and Salil Dalvi, senior vide president of Mobile Platform Development for NBC Universal Digital Distribution. Both have been appointed interim co-general managers. They’ll be responsible for product development as well as network planning and distribution, which will rely on broadcasters volunteering bandwidth for transmission.

Nationwide distribution is considered crucial for the widespread adoption necessary to sustain the service. Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Fox, Gannett, Hearst, ION, Media General, Meredith, NBC, Post-Newsweek and Raycom are on board the venture. The local station groups, sans Fox and NBC, have also formed a separate joint venture, Pearl Mobile DTV, through which they’ll participate in MCV.

Dalvi and Moreno will continue in their roles at the networks while they work out the MCV plan. The pair will work with a newly established steering committee that includes Fox TV station CEO Jack Abernethy; News Corp. Executive Vice President Rich Battista; David Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting; Roger Keating, senior vice president of Digital Media for Hearst Television; Jean-Briac Perrette, president of digital and affiliate distribution for NBC Universal; John Wallace, president of NBC Local Media; and Brandon Burgess, chairman and CEO of ION Television.

Burgess also leads the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a group that formed two years ago to promote mobile, over-the-air DTV. The OMVC represents 860 commercial and noncommercial TV stations across the country. The organization launched beta services last month in Washington, D.C., via nine local TV stations broadcasting around 20 channels. Select Sprint Mobile subscribers were supplied with receivers for the trial.

Those receivers were recently subject of an FCC petition filed by the manufacturers because they do not include analog reception capability. By law, anything that decodes over-the-air DTV signals must do the same for analog transmissions. The FCC is considering a waiver of the rule for mobile devices.

May 27, 2010: “Mobile DTV Runs Up Against Analog Tuner Requirement”
The FCC has agreed to consider waiving its dual-tuner requirement for mobile DTV devices.

May 11, 2010:“Mobile DTV Showcase Underway in D.C.”
The intent is to get receivers into the hands of a select group of individuals to draw attention to the free service.

April 14, 2010
: “Twelve Broadcast Companies Form JV for National Mobile DTV”
The venture is designed to complement the FCC’s National Broadband Initiative by giving consumers mobile access to video content while reducing congestion of the nation’s wireless broadband infrastructure.