OMVC Backs NAB/BIA Study on Mobile DTV

The Open Mobile Video Coalition, an alliance of more than 800 local stations committed to developing a mobile-digital-television standard, officially endorsed a study commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters and conducted by BIA Financial Network that found that mobile DTV could be a significant generator of advertising revenues for stations as long as they deploy services soon.

The BIA/NAB study found that if a single mobile-DTV standard should emerge by February 2009, the OMVC's stated target date, advertising on mobile DTV would generate $2 billion in revenues, of which $1.1 billion would go to local stations with the rest going to networks and syndicators. That new flow of revenues would also theoretically create $9.1 billion in incremental market value for broadcasters.

But the same study, which did not forecast subscription revenues, also found that each month of delay in determining a single standard would cost broadcasters approximately $50 million in revenues and more than $200 million in valuation.

The OMVC said it agrees with the main findings of the study, but it fears that a delay in the standardization process -- which right now sees competing systems from Harris/LG Electronics and Samsung/Rohde & Schwarz/Nokia -- could cost local broadcasters more than the NAB and BIA suggested.

“The NAB study validates the belief among OMVC members that mobile digital television represents an enormous opportunity for broadcasters,” OMVC chairman and ION Media Networks CEO Brandon Burgess said in a statement.

“We believe that the $9.1 billion valuation of advertising-supported services represents only one component of the total potential, and we will work assiduously with other broadcasters, device makers, content companies and service operators to ensure that the full potential of mobile digital television is fulfilled,” he added. “We also understand the costs of a delay in agreeing upon a standard and believe that a delay beyond February 2009 in launching services can cause irreparable harm to the mobile-broadcast business.”