Fox, NBC and Other Broadcast Giants Launch Joint Venture To Create Mobile Content Service

According to a release issued today, Fox, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, NBC, and eight other broadcast giants are launching a joint venture to develop a new national mobile content service.

The release says that the consortium will utilize existing “broadcast spectrum,” to enable 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 technology will come from to three station groups, Fox, NBC & Telemundo, and ION, and 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.

The idea is to aggregate all of the broadcast technology from the 12 stations to offers 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 Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) specifically for mobile devices.

The venture is “designed to complement the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 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.”

The FCC’s plan calls on broadcast companies to sell spectrum to provide mobile internet access for citizens in the U.S. It looks like the broadcast companies are pooling their resources together to provide local content for mobile device in the U.S.

It seems like the venture is early-stage at this point, with the networks still building out a management team and raising more funding.

Photo credit/Flickr/James Cridland