Mobile Content Venture Bringing Mobile TV To U.S. Next Year

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News Posted: Sun, Nov 21 2010 8:15 PM
Mobile TV is an interesting thing. Overseas, in Asian territories in particular, it's huge. Nearly every cellphone has access to mobile TV, and loads of consumers demand it. But in North America, there's next to no demand for mobile TV. MediaFLO has had an incredibly difficult time marketing their services, even when pushed by carriers too. Qualcomm's FLO TV just bit the bullet and folded after trying for less than a year to penetrate the U.S. market. So is there really a future for mobile TV in America?

Even Netflix's leaders have said that they can't find research to prove that U.S. consumers want to watch long-form content on mobile devices. But is there demand for shorter clips if they're delivered for free? Prior mobile TV options in America required a monthly subscription, and it's likely that those fees drove potential customers away. But the Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a joint venture of 12 major broadcasters, may be onto something a little different. They have just announced a commitment to upgrade TV stations in 20 DMAs in order to deliver live video to portable devices. Their service will work a lot like traditional OTA TV works now when received by a standard television.


Your phone or mobile device would use an antenna to receive the signals, but they'd be available to all so long as you were near the transceiver. By late 2011, the venture will deliver mobile video service in markets representing more than 40% of the US population. The service will initially consist of at least two ad-supported free-to-consumer channels in each market, and additional channels and markets are expected to be added over time.

In 2011, MCV expects to offer the mobile video service in the following markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Portland, Cincinnati, Greenville, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, and Knoxville.

We get the feeling that mobile TV is at a "make it or break it" point in America; hopefully these guys will have better luck than the ones before them, but we guess we only have a few months to find out how things will turn out for 'em.
Mobile Content Venture Announces Commitment to Roll Out Mobile TV Service in 20 Markets by the end of 2011
 
MCV Partners Will Offer Programming Service for Portable Devices to More Than 40% of U.S. Population

NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile Content Venture (MCV), a joint venture of 12 major broadcasters, today announced a commitment to upgrade TV stations in 20 DMAs in order to deliver live video to portable devices.  By late 2011, the venture will deliver mobile video service in markets representing more than 40% of the US population.  The service will initially consist of at least two ad-supported free-to-consumer channels in each market. Additional channels and markets are expected to be added over time.

In 2011, MCV expects to offer the mobile video service in the following markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Tampa, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Portland, Cincinnati, Greenville, West Palm Beach, Birmingham, and Knoxville.

"Live, local video will ultimately be a key part of mobile services," said Salil Dalvi, co-GM of MCV. "Upgrading our stations for mobile is an important first step in making this a reality."

"Our commitment to launch in 20 markets, including 13 of the top 15 DMAs, is a significant and necessary step in building a viable commercial mobile TV business that delivers a comprehensive product to viewers," added Erik Moreno, co-GM of MCV.  "We welcome the opportunity to work with Fox and NBC affiliates, as well as additional broadcasters, in rolling out many more markets."

In order to receive the mobile video service, consumers will need a device capable of receiving a specific type of mobile video broadcast, encrypted with conditional access.  MCV is working with various OEMs and device manufacturers to ensure these devices are available in the second half of 2011.

According to the market research firm In-Stat, the U.S. mobile DTV sector will experience solid growth over the next few years, with more than 30 million ATSC Mobile DTV devices expected to be deployed by 2014.

MCV's mobile video service complements the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) National Broadband Initiative.  MCV offers consumers access to mobile video content by utilizing existing broadcast spectrum from its launch partners to offer a breadth of mobile video, including sports and entertainment content.  The technology being deployed by MCV will permit all broadcasters, in a scalable manner, to deliver popular video content in a spectrally efficient manner as compared to wireless 3G and 4G technology.  Additional markets, content and device partners are expected to be announced in the upcoming months.

About Mobile Content Venture

Mobile Content Venture (MCV) is a joint venture that includes Fox, ION Television, NBC and Pearl Mobile DTV, LLC. The Pearl member companies include: Belo Corp., Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps Co., Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television Inc., Media General Inc., Meredith Corp., Post-Newsweek Stations Inc. and Raycom Media. MCV aims to be the catalyst for a new national mobile video service that utilizes existing broadcast spectrum to enable member companies to deliver content to mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, such as sports and entertainment programming, as well as local and national news from print and electronic sources. 
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rapid1 replied on Tue, Nov 23 2010 12:16 PM

This is interesting as well as indicative of many differences between the two societies. One thing specifically is in Asian countries to a large degree is societies are both more mobile, city based, and technology friendly and knowledgeable in general.

Whereas in the US the widest adapted communication device has been a dumbed down one (IE: the iPhone), which is technically more of a easier to used device for the technically challenged (not to mention more appearance focused than anything).

This is quickly changing now (at least from the technical standpoint), so I would imagine, this will be more needed/wanted on a wide basis. As far as it goes though I question the US cellular networks viability on being able to handle this type of traffic, at least in a widely used basis as generally in comparison, a much wider coverage map is needed. Add that to increased data traffic, and vast areas with no cities, but with people living in them, and wanting cellular service, you have a gimped network map.

I think one of the things America should be concentrating on is the backbone of our communications network. We are one of the largest singular societies in the world especially regarding a usage platform/desire, but like number 7/8 or below in data speed/bandwidth availability. The US's entire infrastructure largely is antiquated electrically, environmentally, and in it's depth on many fronts. This includes communications, energy dispersal/availability, highways, and many other areas.

While this is being worked on everything here turns into some political/societal argument. The general public in America is dumbed down on these things, and fed very selective information by there chosen political parties. This information just seeks to move there perspective party forward or make them more attractive, rather than actually doing much of anything positive for the nation.

So until many things are changed in this nation, this type of service has been largely disregarded. Think about this largely in predominately Asian countries, and somewhat in European countries the data availability, and pipeline is four times greater on a mobile device, than would be at your home in the US. It is also available in these countries at a cheaper price, and on top of that your chosen connection provider cannot lock you in. Generally in the US you are on a 2 year hohw (he11 or high water) contract that charges you for every single little thing they can, and is supported in doing so by the current status quo.

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