TV Everywhere: Columbus broadcaster WCMH-TV goes mobile

Media General's NBC affiliate WCMH-TV has begun broadcasting its signal via a mobile digital TV (MDTV) stream to "properly equipped laptops, mobile phones and other portable devices" throughout the Columbus, Ohio market. So what? So now a broadcaster has added value to spectrum the FCC would like back for mobile wireless as part of a national broadband plan.

If it isn't already, the cable industry should be watching the broadcasters' drive into mobile for how it might affect local system operations. If, as proposed, the FCC were to take huge chunks of spectrum from broadcasters, it would force over-the-air players to depend more heavily on cable TV for transmission-or retransmission, as negotiations are called these days. That could further muddy already choppy waters between TV networks and MSOs, especially if somewhere along the line cable operators are required to carry multiple DTV signals from every broadcaster in every market.

MDTV also has the potential to either disrupt or enhance cable's TV Everywhere scheme by mobilizing broadcast signals for well-equipped consumers. As Media General President-CEO Marshall N. Morton said, "Mobile DTV now allows us to deliver our television content to on-the-go consumers."

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