A bunch of ABC-owned stations are now streaming their live signals -- but few others. Why? Because, just as happened with the cable industry (specifically with the likes of Canoe Ventures and addressable advertising), broadcast stations really can’t get together on how mobile TV should work.
Part of the blame rests with the electronics industry which, apart from one or two manufacturers, hasn’t been convinced that adding a special tuner inside phones is the best way to go. Worse still, such technology would significantly boost phone prices.
When mobile TV packages are available, there isn’t enough content. A regional package offered in Boston essentially offers four TV channels for $90 – an consumers also need to stick a dongle device into their phones. Newer technology uses a separate wireless device instead of a dongle, but the extra device costs $99.
Who wants to pay extra for something that comes included with cable, satellite or telco service? That’s why ABC’s WatchABC app allows viewers to get local live TV on their phones for free -- as long as they are participating pay-TV subscribers of some sort.
What about local TV content overall? All TV viewers recognize the value of local station newscasts. But that is changing. New digital media consumers want a lot more bells and whistles, and in many cases they want them for free -- without any strings, wires or devices attached.