Can Dyle Mobile TV launch gain momentum in 2012?

Dyle Mobile TV is directly targeting consumers by providing a consistent brand and enabling them to immediately recognize if a device is compatible to receive over-the-air digital broadcasts. But as we sail through Q2, is there enough momentum to make 2012 the year that digital TV on mobile hits the U.S. in a big way?

This week, the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) announced that many more TV stations — including Belo, CBS Television, Cox Media Group, Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, LIN Media, Meredith, ION, Post-Newsweek and Raycom — will come on board, showing great momentum and showing an important need for solidarity on engaging consumers on ATSC. The stations in the launch window will allow consumers to register via Dyle and then watch live TV in their own hometown markets.

Other areas where stations are broadcast without encryption will allow anyone to pick up a broadcast station in whatever area they happen to be in. Some of the new stations on board this month include the areas of Austin, TX; Boston; Dallas; Dayton, OH; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; and Orlando, FL. All seven major commercial networks are participating, and the total is nearing 100 stations in 35 markets.

Currently in beta, Dyle provides live broadcast programming, local and national news, as well as sports and entertainment content, using the ATSC mobile DTV standard, on mobile devices with the Dyle branding. In 2012, Dyle will be available in 35 U.S. markets, reaching 55 percent of the population. Dyle is operated by the MCV, a joint-venture of 12 major broadcast groups, including Gannett Broadcasting, Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Hearst Television Inc., Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media, all of which are part of the standalone entity known as Pearl, LLC, as well as Fox, ION Television and NBC.

The momentum is pivotal because 2012 may be the year that Dyle will sink or swim. Steadily gaining traction, the brand needs to be a hit with consumers and educate them in a way that makes shopping for a mobile TV solution easier and less confusing.

These days, if you ask people if their current devices are compatible with live broadcast, you may end up getting blank stares. That’s because so much of portable mobile devices, starting with the iPhone and then Android and tablets, is geared around on demand and rentals. They are not thought of as “live” devices in the traditional sense. Consumers have gotten use to picking and choosing content and then downloading it for later viewing.

While there is no denying the convenience factor, there is a large problem inherent with downloadable programming in that advertising is more obtrusive. Having a pre-rolled commercial in a downloaded show can be jarring and is certainly not the standard. The fact that you just paid for something and have to watch a commercial is not something consumers may warm up to.

Live TV via ATSC is a different matter. People are used to ads on regular TV and have gotten so use to them that it does not even phase them. Sure, they can fast-forward on a DVR, but most of time when watching something live such as a sporting event, the audience is captive and engaged to a certain extent. Broadcasters and content producers want this engagement and have missed it with the flood of devices entering the market.

The key will be to reintroduce an old friend, live TV, to the masses and try to recapture the advertising revenue lost in a new medium. And it just may work.

The first step is a consistent brand and message, and certainly Dyle is setting itself up on the tee to be a hit, a long-shot perhaps, but the aim is to make sure consumers know what they are getting and have them excited about the possibilities and new options. Dyle has a lot of forward momentum and continues to poise itself for a big 2012 later in the year. If the continued stable of broadcasters and networks joining ramps up, Dyle could very well be the success the MCV is hoping for.