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Broadcast TV Could Reap Mobile Bonanza

Broadcast TV could reap an additional $2 billion in annual revenue by 2012 -- delivering content to mobile and handheld devices -- if an industry standard is adopted and technology deployed quickly, according to a market study commissioned by a National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

The NAB report concludes that the success of new mobile and handheld (M/H) DTV services in the U.S. will be maximized if an industry accepted Advanced Television Standards Committee standard for M/H DTV is released by early 2009 and universally adopted for M/H broadcasting.

However, delaying adoption of the standard will dramatically impact the revenue potential for both local and network broadcasters in a negative way, the report concludes.

The report, entitled "Study of the Impact of Multiple Systems for Mobile/Handheld Digital Television," was authored by experts from BIA Financial Network with support from Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG).

Assuming early adoption of a M/H standard, the estimated $2 billion in additional revenue by broadcasters would be shared between local stations (approximately $1.1 billion), TV networks and syndicators (approximately $900 million).

Revenue opportunities will come in the form of new advertising vehicles, monetizing over-the-air programming on pay mobile platforms, and partnerships with cell phone and other mobile delivery device providers, the report concludes.

Several new technologies have been proposed that would enable U.S. broadcasters to transmit DTV signals that could be received by M/H devices such as mobile phones, portable video players, and TV screens in automobiles.

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, an alliance of numerous U.S. commercial and public TV broadcasters, announced its commitment to the development of mobile DTV in April 2007, and the ATSC has an accelerated program underway to standardize the system for M/H broadcasting.

NAB FASTROAD (Flexible Advanced Services for Television & Radio On All Devices) is the technology advocacy program of the National Association of Broadcasters. The overall mission of the FASTROAD program is to seek and facilitate development and commercialization of new technologies that can be exploited by broadcasters using radio and television broadcast spectrum.

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