USDTV To Add Market By Year's End

After a year of limping for a year with little cash, broadcast wireless cable company USDTV says a new round of financing should allow the company to energize its three existing markets and expand into a least one major city by the end of the year.

USDTV has secured $26 million from a group including broadcasters Fox Television Stations, Hearst-Argyle Television, McGraw-Hill Broadcasting, LIN TV Corp., and Morgan-Murphy Stations.

The money will be used to boost USDTV’s plan to pool the spare digital spectrum of three or four local broadcast stations in a market to air a package of “cable” networks to compete with its cable and satellite multichannel competition.

Subscribers to the mini-wireless cable system could buy a special set-top box to see a dozen or so programming channels—plus all the local digital-broadcast services—even if they don't have a high-priced digital TV.

For more than a year, USDTV has been on the air in Salt Lake City, Albequerque and Las Vegas, but the company hasn’t been able to afford much marketing.

“This now gives us the legitimacy to go forward now to fully launch,” says USDTV CEO Steve Lindsley in an interview. He would not detail the company’s expansion plans, but said USDTV will launch in one large market by year-end.