Local TV channels for free may coming to your cell phone

October 23, 2007 on 12:38 pm | In Cell phones | 1 Comment

The local TV channels on your living-room set may soon make their way to — where else? — your mobile phone. And it may not cost you a dime.

Local broadcasters are quietly planning to beam the stations to cell phones, video iPods, in-car DVD players and other gadgets that would be equipped with TV tuners. The high-quality digital broadcasts likely would start after the transition to digital TV ends in 2009.

The new effort could pump fresh life into local broadcast stations that have steadily lost viewers to cable TV, the Web and mobile phones.

Prices have not been set, says Brandon Burgess, CEO of TV broadcast company Ion Media Networks and head of the Open Mobile Video Coalition, a group of about 750 broadcasters leading the mobile TV effort.

But Patrick Mullen, head of Fox’s Chicago stations, says many broadcasters would transmit their main channel for free. They’ll reap revenue by charging advertisers a premium to reach larger audiences and by selling them mobile ads that let consumers press a button to buy products, says Envisioneering Group analyst Richard Doherty.

A technology is to be chosen as the industry standard early next year.

Read more about broadcasting TV channels on your mobile phone in PAUL DAVIDSON, USA Today article on delawareonline

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