What Happened To Local Live Mobile TV -- And Why It May Not Matter Anymore

Where is the “mobile TV” business these days? In the simplest of terms, it would allow stations to send their signals to everyone’s mobile phones.  That represented a potential boon for the local station business, which -- apart from strong political and Olympic upturns -- has seen slower growth in recent years.

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.

1 comment about "What Happened To Local Live Mobile TV -- And Why It May Not Matter Anymore".
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  1. Peter Benjamin from MyOffices, October 7, 2013 at 1:43 p.m.

    Its simple: Just allow those that know about sending media to remote ip addresses make it happen. has all the elements needed now that its media is powered by Filmon and others. Aereo holds a part of the solution as well and combined they offer the solution with no further expenses to the broadcasters. When they are ready to start making revenue they can call to plug into their mobile headend.

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