BBC’s Thompson calls for mobile TV initiative

Mark Thompson, the BBC’s Director General, believes there is a strong case for broadcasters, mobile phone operators, government and regulators to come together and develop a roadmap for the introduction of mobile TV in the UK.

He told delegates at the FT Digital Media and Broadcasting Conference that this would be “complementary to the availability of TV content on-demand via devices such as tablets whether streamed or cached on the device and would enable the public to access time-critical content – news, major sports events and so on – wherever they are.”

“We’ve been talking for quite a few years about a number of possible different uses of the radio spectrum and the way the technology might potentially be valuable in terms of mobile TV,” he added.

According to Thompson, research had shown an appetite for consuming content on the new generation of devices and the experience in countries such as South Korea offered signs that mobile TV worked.

He also suggested that the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service worked “because it was structurally straightforward,” and that both Google and Apple had struggled in the TV arena because of the lack of a common User Interface.

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