OMVC Demonstrates Future of Mobile DTV and Details Initial Broadcaster Roll-Out Plans

Thursday, January 8th, 2009 

63 TV Stations in 22 Markets Reaching 35% of U.S. Households to Launch in 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — International Consumer Electronics Show — The Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC), an alliance of U.S. broadcasters dedicated to accelerating the development of mobile digital television, today announced the first wave of broadcasters that have committed to launching mobile digital television (DTV) services in 2009. Timed to an OMVC press conference held at 2009 International CES, broadcasters have declared their intention to launch mobile DTV across 63 stations in 22 markets, covering 35 percent of U.S. television households. The new technology will provide live, local and national over-the-air digital television to consumers via next-generation portable and mobile devices at pedestrian and vehicular speeds. Of the 63 stations, there will be 14 NBC affiliates, nine ABC affiliates, nine CBS affiliates, five FOX affiliates, nine ION Television affiliates, four CW affiliates and four MyNetworkTV affiliates, along with nine additional PBS stations that are in discussions with the OMVC to join the 2009 launch.

“Following a very smooth ATSC Mobile DTV standard setting process, broadcasters are on track to deliver local and national broadcast television to mobile audiences,” said Brandon Burgess, OMVC President and ION Media Networks Chairman and CEO. “The collaboration and dedication among TV broadcasters on this project has been gratifying, enabling us to meet our goal of making mobile broadcast DTV a reality in 2009.”

“Broadcasters should be recognized for seizing an opportunity to provide the entertainment and public service benefits of live, local television coverage to mobile consumers,” said David Rehr, President of the National Association of Broadcasters. “Consumers want to utilize mobile devices to follow news and sports, as well as local, regional and national emergency announcements and other content that they have come to expect from their local television stations. The roll-out of mobile DTV will give them the opportunity to experience all of those benefits.”

Broadcasters are well positioned to dramatically improve the mobile video experience. Broadcaster-provided mobile DTV will give consumers local-station programming in a true digital format. It will also give broadcasters the opportunity to participate in this service using their own channels,” added David Lougee, President of Gannett Broadcasting.

John Eck, OMVC Executive Committee member and President of NBC TV Network and Media Works commented, “Mobile DTV will expand the reach of our content, provide consumers with more flexibility in how they access news, sports and entertainment programming, and open the door to a new world of possibilities for our advertisers. It’s a true pleasure to be working on the development of this exciting new broadcast initiative.”

“For a relatively small capital outlay, broadcasters can upgrade their existing transmission infrastructure to offer multiple channels of entertainment, news and public affairs programming. This truly marks a new day in mobile broadcasting,” said Vince Sadusky, President and CEO of LIN TV.

To showcase the consumer experience of Mobile DTV and the technical feasibility of the ATSC Mobile DTV Candidate Standard, the OMVC conducted a live demonstration on the opening day of CES 2009 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The demo involved multiple Las Vegas-based television stations broadcasting popular local and national TV programs, music video, along with local sports and public affairs programming (comprehensive list attached), to ATSC compliant devices produced by LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, and using transmission equipment manufactured by Harris Corporation.

The robust and flexible ATSC Mobile DTV Candidate Standard supports over-the-air delivery of digital broadcast content to next-generation devices such as cell phones, laptop computers, handheld PDAs, portable media players and gaming devices. The standard also extends a variety of automotive opportunities, ranging from factory-installed in-vehicle entertainment systems to dealer-installed and aftermarket entertainment systems, as well as GPS systems enriched with local broadcast receiver capabilities. In the months to come, the OMVC will conduct extensive interoperability testing and trials in various markets nationwide.

The OMVC and ATSC recently announced acceptance of a Candidate Standard for mobile DTV that will be tested in multiple market trials during 2009, revised as needed and proposed as a final standard by mid-year. Working together on an exceptionally fast-track schedule, the groups have met every milestone and goal they established.

More: Mobile DTV 2009 Launch Stations (.ppt)