I have an article, Going Mobile (TV), that's recently been published by MobileIN, a wireless and mobile information site. In it I basically argue that major investments in mobile TV broadcast capability are less likely to pay off than investments mobile video-on-demand.
The biggest trend in commercial television viewing is personal video recorders like TiVo. People want to watch TV content when they want, not when broadcasters schedule it. The only exception is major sports events (the Superbowl or World Cup matches). Even the evening news is frequently rescheduled for later in the evening.
The second relevant trend is growth in YouTube and similar web-based video content. Broadcast TV went from 2-3 channels in the 1950s to hundreds of channels on a typical cable system today. But consumers are also interested in the long tail of millions of videos that can only be served over the Internet today and, potentially, over the mobile Internet in the future.
Finally, survey's of early adopters of mobile video show music videos, movie trailers, weather, sports action clips, comedy videos, cartoons and amateur video shorts – typically a few minutes long at most – are the most popular content. In addition, it appears 85 percent of mobile video viewers watched viral videos (content sent or pointed out by others) rather than content they found themselves.
All and all, mobile consumers are looking for video -on-demand, not pre-scheduled broadcast TV.
So what's the logic for massive investments in spectrum, followed by even more money in new wireless infrastructure, followed by the need to sell everyone new handsets that can receive the new broadcast mobile TV channels?