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US Broadcast Groups to Develop National Mobile TV Service

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Twelve US broadcast firms have announced plans to form a standalone joint venture to develop a new national mobile content service. Utilizing 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 utilized 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, which are Belo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, Media General, Meredith, Post Newsweek and Raycom. Separately, these nine local broadcast companies formed Pearl Mobile DTV Company LLC as a vehicle for their involvement in the venture.

By aggregating existing broadcast spectrum from its launch partners, the new venture says that it will have the capacity to offer a breadth of mobile video and print content to nearly 150 million US 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 (ATSC) specifically for mobile devices.

The venture is designed to complement the Federal Communication Commission's (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 U.S.

Regarding the announcement, Jack Abernethy, Chief Executive Officer of Fox Television Stations, stated: "We are excited about building a platform that makes mobile television universally available and economically viable. This venture is the first step in forging cross-industry and company partnerships to deliver content to consumers."

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.

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Tags: mobile tv  atsc  congestion  video  emergency  television