Mobile500 lets its web site go dead

My DTV logoCould this be the beginning of the end for mobile TV? As reported yesterday by TV Technology, the Mobile500 Alliance allows its domain to expire, causing its web site to disappear. Since that story was published, someone renewed the domain for another year, but the organization is definitely “undergoing a management transition”.

At the NAB Show last April, word was that Mobile500 would merge with Dyle, that other mobile-TV consortium. That’s was just before John Lawson, the Mobile500 executive director since its founding, stepped down. According to TV NewsCheck, Lawson’s replacement is Rob Hubbard, president of Hubbard Broadcasting, and Hubbard doesn’t see that merger coming any time soon.

TV NewsCheck also quotes Hubbard as saying that mobile-TV phone dongle is awkward at best. “The idea of the dongle is problematic, but that’s no surprise, everyone has known that,” Hubbard said. “When it’s built-in, it would get more use. The idea of having a dongle is something that people are less thrilled about.”

I hadn’t had a chance to mention this before, but on my recent visit to New York City, I observed hundreds of subway riders. Plenty of them were reading their phones. Plenty more were listening to something on their phones. No riders watched video on their phones, and that surprised me a bit. I still don’t know where the mobile viewers are supposed to come from, and maybe some of the mobile consortiums’ backers are starting to agree.