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becky 10-Dec-2009 6:15 AM

Broadcasters banding together to stimulate wireless DTV service
With competition from major wireless content providers firmly entrenched and the government looking to reclaim spectrum for its proposed national broadband plan, the terrestrial broadcast industry recognizes the immediate need to roll out new services based on the ATSC A/153 Mobile DTV standard. The standard allows broadcasters to use part of their allotted 6MHz (19.4Mb/s) of spectrum for such wireless services while protecting stations’ original DTV transmission equipment investment.

After a number of isolated field trials in markets across the country, several groups are now working together to reach content carriage and other agreements to get local station content to portable devices by early next year.

At the upcoming Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) show in January, nine major TV station groups will officially announce a new initiative code-named the “Pearl Project,” under the premise that there’s strength in numbers. Collectively, the group will conduct tests and work on marketing the service to consumers. As a group, they’ll also have the necessary clout to reach deals with carriers, receiver manufacturers, retailers, programmers and advertisers.

The initial nine groups participating in the Pearl Project are Belo, Cox, Gannett, Hearst Television, Ion Media, Media General, Scripps, Post-Newsweek and Raycom Media. Others are sure to join in as well.

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