But that vision is far from certain. It will require new computer chips in phones and new programming deals with distributors.
The announcement on Tuesday drew comparisons to Hulu, the joint venture among ABC, Fox and NBC on online video. The nine station groups — the Belo Corporation, the Cox Media Group, E. W. Scripps, Gannett Broadcasting, Hearst Television, Media General, the Meredith Corporation, Post-Newsweek Stations and Raycom Media — will be represented in the venture by the newly formed Pearl Mobile DTV Company.
Through a separate coalition, TV providers have already coalesced around technical standards for mobile transmissions, so groups like the one announced Tuesday will now push forward on the programming side.
Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation, alluded to the mobile efforts in remarks to the Federal Trade Commission last winter, saying that “today’s news consumers do not want to be chained to a box in their homes or offices to get their favorite news and entertainment — and our plan includes the needs of the next wave of TV viewing by going mobile.” He said that his company’s newspaper content could be transmitted over the airwaves, as well.