Broadcasters launch Mobile500 Alliance

A group of U.S. broadcasters have launched the Mobile500 Alliance to “accelerate the availability of mobile digital television, or mobile DTV, service to consumers nationwide.” The Mobile500 Alliance currently consists of 30 broadcast TV companies whose markets represent approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population.

The alliance is spearheaded by Mobile500 Alliance Chairwoman Colleen B. Brown, who is president/CEO of Fisher Communications. The group’s 30 broadcast members own 346 full-power TV stations in 167 markets. In addition to Fisher Communications’ Brown, executives from Capitol Broadcasting, LIN Media, Schurz Communications, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Titan Broadcast Group formed the initial organizing executive committee. Since its launch, the Mobile500 Alliance has drawn in more than 20 additional broadcasters including Communications Corporation of America, Cordillera Communications, Freedom Communications, Granite Broadcasting, Gray Television, Hoak Media, Hubbard Broadcasting, Local TV, Max Media, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting, New Vision Television, Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Pappas Telecasting Companies and Tribune Broadcasting.

The group intends to “build on the mobile DTV standards activities of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, or OMVC,” by developing a nationwide business model as well as expanding on OMVC’s other mobile DTV efforts, which includes the Washington, D.C., Consumer Showcase for Mobile DTV.

Accelerating the nationwide availability of mobile DTV includes efforts to negotiate with program suppliers to secure content agreements and to ensure that an increasing number of electronics manufacturers produce consumer devices offering mobile DTV service.