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Update: Mobile500 Alliance Website is (Not) Dead, Just Sleeping

Update: Since this was published on deadline Sept. 4 when we had not heard back from Mobile500 Alliance executives or participants, we have learned that the Mobile500 continues as a going concern and is undergoing a management transition. Rob Hubbard of Hubbard Broadcasting will take over now that Fisher stations are being acquired by Sinclair. Colleen Brown of Fisher had formerly headed up the Alliance.

HERNDON, VA. — The Mobile500 Alliance website has expired and executives are mum on the consortium’s fate. According to Whois, registration for the mobile DTV group domain expired Aug. 31 and is pending renewal or deletion.

The Mobile500 was formed in September of 2010 to promote the deployment of mobile DTV service by local TV stations. It was launched following the formation of the Mobile Content Venture, which also was created to promote mobile over-the-air television, included network participation, and has since launched Dyle TV. The Mobile500 comprised station groups not included or invited to be members of MVC.

Both groups had ties to the Open Mobile Video Coalition, formed in 2007 to lead the charge for an over-the-air mobile broadcast TV standard. The standard, ATSC M/H, was ratified by the Advanced Television Systems Committee in October 2009. The OMVC was taken over by the National Association of Broadcasters last December.

The Mobile500 started out with 30 broadcast companies with 340 full-power stations in 147 markets. By June of 2011, it would have 46 member companies with 420 TV stations reaching 90-plus percent of U.S. TV households. Members station groups included Sinclair, Fisher, Freedom, LIN, Nexstar, Gray, McGraw-Hill, Tribune and others.

Sinclair has since purchased stations owned by Fisher, Allbritton, Barrington, Cox, Newport, Titan, Freedom and Four Points, bringing its total footprint to 149 stations covering 38 percent of U.S. TV households.

In June of 2011, the Alliance announced plans to launch the first mobile DTV signals by the fourth quarter of that year. The actual beta launch came in January of this year in Seattle and Minneapolis, supported by Fisher and Hubbard.

By May, TVNewsCheck’s Andrew Dodson reported a discussion about the Mobile500 and the MVC merging.