Mobile DTV Joint Venture Outlines Leadership

The joint venture formed this spring by networks Fox, NBC and ION Media and nine independent station groups to bring mobile digital TV technology to market has announced its interim management team and given itself a name.

The "Mobile Content Venture," which was announced in April at the NAB Show, joins the three networks with Pearl Mobile DTV, a standalone entity representing nine groups: Belo, Cox Media Group, E.W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media. MCV's goal is to launch a national mobile DTV content service using part of its partners' broadcast spectrum, though it has yet to announce any agreements with wireless carriers to put mobile DTV receivers in phones or detail its programming plans.

The interim Co-General Managers announced June 8 by MCV, Erik Moreno from Fox and Salil Dalvi from NBCU, bring a mix of experience in both dealmaking and mobile platform development. Moreno, SVP of Corporate Development for Fox Networks Group, currently identifies new business and strategic opportunities across Fox's entertainment properties and manages activities related to corporate acquisitions and joint ventures. He previously served as Director of Corporate Development for the online auction site eBay, working on M&A activities and equity investments, and VP of President of Corporate Development and Strategy at Level 3 Communications. He also has Wall Street experience, working as an M&A investment banker at Gleacher & Co. and Bear Stearns.

Salil Dalvi, SVP of Mobile Platform Development for NBC Universal Digital Distribution, has overseen NBCU's mobile efforts since 2004, including the development and launch of live TV, VOD, mobile web and mobile apps services, and played a key role in the company's mobile content efforts for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He formerly worked in corporate development for NBC, developing strategy for both wireless and online platforms, and began his career in affiliate sales and marketing for MTV Networks.

Moreno and Dalvi will be responsible for leading product development, network planning and distribution efforts for the planned service, while remaining in their current roles at Fox and NBCU. They will work closely with the venture's newly-established executive steering committee, which includes: Jack Abernethy, CEO of Fox Television Stations, Rich Battista, EVP of News Corporation, David Lougee, President of Gannett Broadcasting, Roger Keating, SVP of Digital Media for Hearst Television, Brandon Burgess, Chairman and CEO of ION Television, Jean-Briac Perrette, President of Digital and Affiliate Distribution of NBC Universal and John Wallace, President of NBC Local Media.

"Erik and Salil have worked together effectively during the initial stages of this venture, and are immensely qualified to lead both the product and business development aspects of the service as it gets closer to launch," said Battista in a statement. "All the partners in the venture are committed to delivering a product that offers consumers incredible live and on-demand mobile media experiences, and we look forward to working closely with Salil and Erik to make that goal a reality."

"Consumers have shown an increasingly explosive appetite for mobile," added Perrette. "Over the past several months, Salil and Erik have helped us make significant progress towards the next generation of mobile services. We are excited to expand our commitment by having these talented executives lead the efforts with our new partners."