Open Mobile Video Coalition to Promote Mobile TV in U.S.

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Current members – covering 95 million households — include the broadcast television station groups of Belo Corp., Fox, Gannett, Gray, ION Media, NBC Universal, Sinclair and Tribune; Coalition invites all U.S. based broadcasters to join group in driving mobile digital video innovation

Las Vegas — Nine of the largest U.S. television broadcast groups today announced the launch of the “Open Mobile Video Coalition,” an industry alliance to accelerate the development of mobile digital broadcast television. Broadcasters jointly announcing the Coalition today are: Belo Corp., Fox Television Stations, Gannett Broadcasting, Gray Television, ION Media Networks, the NBC & Telemundo Television Stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Broadcasting Company. These companies collectively represent over 280 television stations in the U.S., covering 95 million households, including 49 of the top 50 markets nationwide.

The group’s membership is expected to grow in the coming weeks, and the group anticipates working closely with the Advanced Technology Advocacy Committee of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). The Coalition cordially invites all U.S. based broadcasters to join in driving key initiatives viewed as central to realizing the full potential of the digital broadcast television spectrum in the United States. A number of new technologies have recently been identified that enable reception of digital broadcast television (DTV) signals in portable and mobile environments. When commercialized, these new technologies will enable TV broadcasters to use their existing DTV spectrum and networks to reach consumers anywhere, both in and out of the home.

Exciting, live demos of mobile digital broadcast video technologies will take place at the annual NAB industry conference in Las Vegas this week, and the Coalition strongly encourages broadcasters to experience them. Following NAB, the Coalition will be setting up a conference call for broadcasters to learn more, with date and time to be announced.

Estimates for 2007 U.S. sales of portable and mobile devices capable of video playback run as high as 100 million units. These include sales of video-capable mobile phones, personal media players, portable game players, imaging devices, notebook PCs, and in-car entertainment devices. With the addition of a low-cost receiver module, each of these devices could be built to receive DTV broadcasts from any of the 1,600 digital television stations in the U.S. that choose to transmit mobile capable signals. DTV spectrum is ideally suited for mobile video. It supports good picture quality, reliable reception inside buildings and on fastmoving vehicles, all using antennas small enough to fit in almost any portable device.

The Coalition’s charter will include:

  • Serving as a forum for members and participating affiliates regarding product requirements and technology specifications related to mobile digital broadcast television
  • Promoting the development of products, services and standards enabling mobile digital broadcast television
  • Educating broadcasters, technology developers, consumers and regulators about the value, benefits and applications of mobile digital broadcasting

The Coalition’s work will include promoting development of industry technical standards; defining technical objectives and requirements of broadcasters, equipment manufacturers, service operators, content developers and consumers; accelerating the development of new technology, solutions and content; driving regulatory support and promoting consumer adoption of mobile digital broadcast television. Membership in the coalition is open to all U.S.-based television broadcasters.