At this week’s NAB show in Las Vegas, a host of TV giants joined together to form a standalone joint venture to develop a new national mobile content service.

Using existing broadcast spectrum, this new service will allow member companies to provide content to mobile devices, including live and on-demand video, and local and national news from print and electronic sources as well as sports and entertainment programming. In addition, the service’s mobile content network will be able to deliver local and national time-sensitive emergency information to subscribers.

Broadcast spectrum for the new mobile service will come from the three owned-and-operated station groups — Fox, NBC & Telemundo and ION — and the nine local broadcast groups: 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.

Aside from spectrum, the partners will contribute content, marketing resources and capital to the new venture, which will use ATSC-M/H, an open broadcast transmission system developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee specifically for mobile devices.

"Local broadcasters are the backbone of the U.S. media industry," said David J. Barrett, president and CEO of Hearst Television Inc. "This sharing of content, broadcast spectrum, marketing resources and capital is unprecedented, and underscores U.S. broadcasters’ commitment to bringing vital local news, weather, and emergency information to increasingly mobile U.S. consumers. This is truly the next generation of local television service."

Added Brandon Burgess, CEO of ION Television, "This venture takes to the next level the work we embarked upon three years ago with the development of Mobile DTV technology in anticipation of digital TV capabilities and consumer mobile demand.”

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