Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps, Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, ION Television, Media General, Meredith, NBC, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media announced plans to form a standalone JV 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 O&O 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 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 ATSC specifically for mobile devices.
The venture is designed to complement the FCC’s 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.
Said Jack Abernethy, Fox Television Stations CEO: “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.”
“This initiative offers a path for the next generation of video consumption, and will help the FCC in its goal of ensuring efficient and reliable broadband service for US consumers,” added John Wallace, President, NBC Local Media.
“This venture takes to the next level the work we embarked upon three years ago with the development of Mobile DTV technology, in anticipation of digital TV capabilities and consumer mobile demand,” said Brandon Burgess, CEO of ION Television.
Info 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.