According to this article, American broadcasters are quietly planning to beam the stations signal to cellphones, video iPods, in-car DVD players and other gadgets that would be equipped with TV tuners. The high-quality digital tv broadcasts likely would start in 2009. The new effort could pump fresh life into stations that have steadily lost viewers to cable TV, the Web, game players and mobile phones.
“We do know that people want real live television” on mobile devices, “not sound bites of television,” says David Smith, president of Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns 58 TV stations. Patrick Mullen, head of Fox’s Chicago stations, says many broadcasters would transmit their main channel for free. They’ll reap revenue by charging advertisers a premium to reach larger audiences and by selling them mobile ads that let consumers press a button to buy products, says Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty. Stations also would charge fees for additional channels that might show local news or weather, or cable staples such as ESPN.
Yankee Group analyst Linda Barrabee says only about 6% of wireless customers subscribe to video offerings, noting many are loath to pay extra fees. Adults surveyed would prefer to watch traditional TV on mobile phones, she says. Doherty says carriers will be lured by the chance to share in new revenue.
Wow.. first mobile payments and now digital tv.. a double shot in one day! Nice to see the US mobile market is starting to recognize – and move towards adoption – the applications and services we have seen here for some years already.