TV companies promise national mobile content service

A dozen of the US’ largest TV broadcasters have teamed up to develop a national television service for mobile devices.

The companies, which include Fox, NBC & Telemundo, and ION, are promising content including live and on-demand video, local and national news from print and electronic sources and sports and entertainment programming.

It will be delivered via existing spectrum held by the broadcasters, using ATSC-M/H, an open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) specifically for mobile devices.

Devices supported will include cellphones, netbooks, DVD players and in-vehicle entertainment systems.

“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,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations.

“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.

Between them, the group represents 173 television stations. As part of the deal, nine local broadcast groups – elo, Cox, E.W. Scripps, Gannett, Hearst, Media General, Meredith, Post Newsweek and Raycom – have formed Pearl Mobile DTV Company as a vehicle for their involvement.