MetroPCS Launching Live Mobile TV Service Later This Year

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Today, MetroPCS has announced a partnership with the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) on a new service that will bring live digital television to the carrier’s customers. The service, called Dyle Mobile TV, will be available on phones that are pre-loaded with the Dyle application, starting first with unnamed, Android-based Samsung devices.

MCV is a joint venture dedicated to facilitating, on behalf of 12 major broadcast groups, a national mobile content service that delivers live television to mobile devices.

Dyle Mobile TV is the consumer-facing brand launched by MCV earlier this year that will deliver live mobile television content from 15 major broadcast groups including Pearl LLC (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) as well as FOX, ION Television, Bahakel, Univision, Telemundo and NBC. At launch, MCV expects to offer the mobile video service on more than 72 stations in 32 markets covering more than 50% of the U.S. population.

The content will include live national and local sports, news and entertainment offerings.

The Dyle logo (pictured) is meant to indicate to consumers that the technology needed for live, mobile TV is available on the device in question.

The Dyle service works using ATSC technology, which is more commonly known as “a TV tuner.” This allows the phone to receive digital television (DTV) signals – the same signals that stations adopted during the digital TV transition.

Samsung smartphones with Dyle will be available later this year in MetroPCS markets and surrounding areas including: Atlanta, Ga.; Boston, Mass.; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Detroit, Mich.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Las Vegas, Nev.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; New York, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Tampa, Fla.

Mobile TV services haven’t always fared so well. Qualcomm’s mobile TV unit FLO TV, which provided white label services to Verizon and AT&T announced it was closing up shop in 2010, and was officially discontinued in March 2011. AT&T ended up purchasing $1.93 billion worth of wireless spectrum from Qualcomm that had been used for the service.

Will value-conscious MetroPCS customers want mobile TV service, then, when it will almost certainly come at an increased monthly cost? That remains to be seen.