In an ongoing development with more than peripheral impact on the cable industry, the Open Mobile Video Coalition (OMVC) is crowing that consumers are "watching TV during carpool commutes, at work and when out with the kids."
Nine Washington, D.C. television stations are broadcasting 23 channels of truly over-the-air television as part of a "hands on" test in the Washington-Baltimore viewing area as part of an OMVC Consumer Showcase. Initial survey results show better-than-average scores for the service: most viewing is "on-the-go," and viewers are tuning in multiple times a day with news programming and daytime shows proving to be popular.
Broadcasters are using mobile DTV to prove to the FCC that over-the-air broadcast spectrum is still important and that the federal agency shouldn't grab 120 MHz of it for wireless services as part of its national broadband plan. If that were to happen, cable operators would be impacted by must-carry rules that would add local channel burdens-and potentially retransmission disputes-onto MSOs' plates.
Mobile DTV uses digital broadcast spectrum to deliver interactive advertising, electronic service guides, closed captioning and emergency alerts.
- see this news release (PDF)
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Broadcasters using mobile DTV as leverage in fight with FCC over spectrum