Mobile DTV to Launch in 22 Markets

Sixty-three TV stations across the country will launch mobile TV this year, the Open Mobile Video Coalition announced in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show there. The Coalition was formed to create an infrastructure for transmitting broadcast TV signals to handheld and other portable devices. It will compete with other incumbent services provided by cell phone carriers such as Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

Launching mobile TV involves the addition of an exciter, an encoder and a few peripherals to existing digital transmission facilities. The key to success is whether anyone cares. Currently, there are no compatible reception devices on the market, but LG is busy cranking them out, along with Kenwood and Samsung. (See “More on Mobile TV…”)

At least 20 station group owners and networks are participating in the initial launch. The guinea pigs include 14 NBC affiliates; nine ABCs; the same number of CBS stations; five Foxes, nine IONs; four CWs and four MyNetworkTVs; and possibly nine PBS stations. All 63 stations involved reach 35 percent of the national TV audience.

The list includes, by designated market area--call letters, ownership/affiliation:
#1New York--WPXN (ION); WNBC (NBC); WNET (PBS)
#3Chicago--WFLC (Fox); WCPX (ION) WTTW (PBS)
#4Philadelphia--WPPX (ION); WCAU (NBC): WHYY (PBS)
#5San Francisco--KTVU (Cox/Fox); KKPX (ION)
#7Boston­--WBPX (ION); WGBH (PBS); WHDH (Sunbeam/NBC)
#8Washington--WPXW (ION); WRC (NBC); WETA (PBS)
#9Atlanta--WSB (Cox/ABC); WXIA (Gannett/ABC); WPXA (ION); WGCL (Meredith/CBS)
#11Detroit--WTSV (PBS): WDIV (Post-Newsweek/NBC) WXYZ (Scripps/ABC)
#12Tampa--WXPX (ION); WFLA (Media General/NBC); WEDU (PBS)
#14 Seattle--KING (Belo/NBC); KIRO (Cox/CBS): KOMO (Fisher/ABC)
#18Denver--KUSA (Gannett/NBC) KPXC (Ion)
#19Orlando--WFTA (Cox/ABC); WESH (Hearst-Argyle/NBC)
#24Baltimore--WMAR (Scripps/ABC); WBFF/WNUV (Sinclair/Fox, CW)
#26Charlotte,N.C.--WCNC (Belo/NBC): WSOC (Cox/ABC); WBTV (Raycom/CBS)
#32Columbus,Ohio--WBNS (Dispatch/CBS); WWHO (Lin/CW); WCMH (Media General/NBC); WSYX/WTTE (Sinclair/ABC, Fox)
#34Milwaukee--WNTV/WCGV (Sinclair/CW/MyNet)
#36Greenville,S.C.--WSPA (Media General/CBS); WLOX/WMYA (Sinclair/ABC, MyNet)
#42Norfolk,Va.--WAVY (Lin/NBC); WHRO (PBS); WTVZ (Sinclair/MyNet)
#51Providence, R.I.-- WPRI (Lin/CBS); WJAR (Media General/NBC)
#59Mobile,Ala.--WBPG (Lin/CW); WEAR/WFGX (Sinclair/ABC, MyNet)
Roanoke,Va.--WSLS (Media General/NBC); WBRA (PBS); WDBJ (Raycom/CBS)
#71Toledo,Ohio--WUPW (Lin/Fox); WTOL (Raycom/CBS)