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Twelve Broadcast Companies Form Joint Venture for National Mobile DTV

LAS VEGAS: A consortium of broadcasters have joined forces to create a business model for mobile DTV. The group released the following edited statement on Tuesday:

“Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, ION Television, Media General, Meredith, NBC, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media announced plans to form a standalone joint venture to develop a new national mobile content service. Using existing broadcast spectrum, the service will allow member companies to provide content to mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, local and national news from print and electronic sources, as well as sports and entertainment programming.

“Broadcast spectrum to be used for the new mobile service will come from the three owned-and-operated station groups--Fox, NBC/Telemundo, and ION--and the nine local broadcast groups, including Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, Media General, Meredith, Post Newsweek and Raycom. These nine local broadcast companies separately formed Pearl Mobile DTV Co. LLC as a vehicle for their involvement in the venture.

“By aggregating existing broadcast spectrum from its launch partners, the new venture will have the capacity to offer a breadth of mobile video and print content to nearly 150 million U.S. residents. In addition to broadcast spectrum, the partners will commit content, marketing resources and capital to the new venture. The service will employ ATSC-M/H, an open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee specifically for mobile devices.

“The venture is designed to complement the FCC’ National Broadband Initiative by giving consumers mobile access to video content while reducing congestion of the nation's wireless broadband infrastructure. In addition, the service's mobile content network will have the capacity to deliver local and national time-sensitive emergency information to citizens across the United States.

“Information regarding a dedicated management team that will focus on securing additional content, spectrum and distribution partnerships for the venture will be made available at a later date.”