ANALOG TV IS NOW OFF: Streaming Video on Mobile Phones In San Francisco, Boston, Miami is On

By on 06/12/2009 11:12 AM @beet_tv

As the lights go out today on analog television broadcast as part of the long-planned transition to digital, frequencies in several markets carry television signals to mobile phones.

At the D: All Things Digital
conference in California in May, I interviewed Bill Stone,
the president of FLO TV, which is wholly owned by Qualcomm. Qualcomm, which has spent $500 million to buy frequencies used by analog broadcasters in several U.S. markets, is expanding the reach of its FLO TV network in new markets including San Francisco, Boston, Houston and Miami, adding 60 million potential customers.  A total of 15 new markets go online today.

Later this year, the company will expand to New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Chicago, and other markets and also expand its product offerings to automobile television.

The service provides full–length simulcast and time–shifted programming from CBS, CBS College Sports, CBS News, CNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN, FOX, FOX News, FOX Sports, MSNBC, MTV, NBC, NBC 2Go, NBC News, NBC Sports, Nickelodeon, and NickToons. FLO TV currently has around 20 channels up and the subscription service is available on nine phones from Verizon and AT&T.

Promoting the new service is blogger Amanda Congdon.

Here's the take on FLO TV by Stephen Wildstrom at Business Week.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

Video Transcript

Bill Stone: We're excited we're finally going to be able to light up a national network. Unfortunately, the government delayed the transition from analog to digital. It was supposed to happen in February; to give people more time to find converter boxes, they extended it out into June, but the implication of that is, that unfortunately, we weren't able to turn up some major markets, like San Francisco, Boston, Houston, Miami. And so now, in the middle of June, we'll be able to light those markets up and really have a true national footprint in the major markets across the country.  

People increasingly want to live life on their terms, wherever they are. And so no longer is it I've got to be home at 8pm to watch a program, I want to watch something when it's happening. So if a plane crashes in the Hudson River, or it's the Laker v. Nuggets game, I want to watch it when it's happening. So at FLO TV, we've built a national network that can deliver broadcast television directly to subscribers. Here, so we have ESPN, Fox, NBC, CBS, MTV, Viacom, so we've really we've got a broad array of channels for customers to watch. 

For us, we have it on nine devices right now from AT&T and Verizon, and so you can get it through your local Verizon or AT&T retail location. But also we'll be launching later this year a number of other applications. So it'll be in the back of automobiles with rear seat entertainment. So people already today are very accusomtomed to watching DVD's in the back of their cars, there's no reason why you can't watch television. So we're excited about that market opportunity. There's more rear seat entertainment units in the United States than there are iPhones, so we think that's a tremendous opportunity to go directly to the consumer through the FLO TV brand. We'll also be launching it through accessories and we'll also be launching it through personal television devices and a wide array of things other than just cell phones to take advantage of a really cool service.

The capacity of the network is up to around twenty channels, but I think that the key as we go forward in time is how do I integrate more On Demand offerings with the live offerings that we already have. I think customers want both. I want to watch things sometimes On Demand, I want to watch things live when they're happening. So as we go forward with the network, it'll be really a good question of how we bring those elements together with the concept of time shifting–when I want to watch it whenever it's happening versus the concept of place shifting, wherever I am, I want to enjoy the service. And really, bringing those two things together is the key for success with mobile TV.

Recent Videos
image
Xaxis’ Ad-Synch Product Rolls Out in Nine Markets: “It Captures the Imagination of our Clients”...

LONDON – It’s a bit like finding the “lost GRP,” says  Caspar Schlickum, CEO of Xaxis EMEA, explaining the value of the agency’s new ad-synch product, in this interview with Beet.TV He says that the platform serves synched ads to  multiscreen viewers, many who reach for their ...

image
Rubicon Taps Global Publishers’ “Demand for Greater Efficiency”

LONDON –  The Rubicon Project, the Los Angeles-based adtech firm, has been rapidly expanding globally as publishers demand greater efficiency in managing their ad sales, says Jay Stevens,  GM for International, in this interview with Beet.TV    Rubicon helps a number of big global publishers ...

image
Data Can Be Used as a ‘Consumer Fingerprint’, SMG’s Simpson

LONDON — Data is rooted in numbers, but the use of it is most effective when brands view data as a “consumer fingerprint,” says Steve Simpson, Exec VP and Global Managing Director of Digital Strategy, Data and Analytics at SMG, in an interview with Beet.TV. “Think about it as a ...

image
Vice Sees Huge Upside for News Operation, Brian Dietz Tells Beet.TV

In just the past six month, Vice has become “one of the biggest newscasts in the country and possibly the world,” says Vice SVP for sales Brian Dietz in this segment on Beet.TV.  Dietz tells our Ashley Swartz that Vice news has some 650K subscribers on YouTube and has had 70 million videos ...

Ashley Swartz, Furious Minds 2
VOD Could Shepherd More Programmatic Buying in TV, Ashley Swartz

Video-on-demand inventory is the next logical entry point for programmatic style advertising into linear TV, says Ashley J. Swartz, CEO and Founder of Furious Minds, in an interview with Beet.TV. “VOD is the first inventory that will come online for dynamic ad insertion,” she says. “The ...

image
Razorfish Media Chief Kathuria on Scale, TV Dollars, and Big Data

Moving TV dollars to online remains a challenge says Vik Kathuria, Global Chief Media Officer at Razorfish in an interview with Beet.TV. “It’s very hard to find an apples to apples comparison in terms of TV money and where to move it. If you are a TV buyer, you want to scale. To effectively move ...

Steve Parker, SMG UK
Programmatic Poised to Impact TV Buying, SMG’s Steve Parker says

LONDON — Programmatic advertising not only has the potential to influence digital advertising, but also TV, says Steve Parker, co-CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group in London, in an interview with Beet.TV. “What we’re learning around programmatic video allows us to transform our relationship ...

image
More Agencies to Launch Private Exchanges, Zenith’s Zilberbrand

As programmatic buying expands, look for agencies to build more private marketplaces in the next 12 to 18 months, says Julian Zilberbrand, EVP Activation Standards, Insights, & Technology at ZenithOptimedia Group in an interview with Beet.TV. That’s because private exchanges provide an ecosystem ...

image
Programmatic TV Buying on the Horizon

Programmatic advertising has flourished digitally, but in time it will spread further to TV, says Brendan Condon, CEO of Media Property Holdings, which operates like an ad network but for TV buying by aggregating TV spend across multichannel video providers, syndicators and local broadcasters. But there are ...

image
Ad Tech Lets Advertisers Run Their Own Show: MediaMath’s Cox

Larger advertisers are beginning to realize that, with a range of new online technology, they can disintermediate their agencies to take more control of their own campaign spending, says an ad tech exec. “We’re seeing an increase in operators wanting to run their own marketing programs directly using ...

image
2014 Is ‘The Year Of Private Marketplaces’: BrightRoll’s Avila

The next stage in the adoption of  automated ad-trading tools, private marketplaces are helping so-called “programmatic” practices flourish, says an exec in the space. “If 2013 was the year of real-time bidding and programmatic coming in to reality, 2014 is the year of private ...

Stefan Maris, Civolution
Publishers May Soon Sell TV-Synced Ads: Civolution’s Maris

Nowadays, advertisers are starting to buy ads in social media streams that are synchronized with TV ads. Soon, they may also get to buy display ads on premium publisher sites in the same way. “2014 was all about getting the pipes in place,” says Stefan Maris, global product manager of Civolution, ...

loader