French mobile TV partners talk business

The 16 French broadcasters that were awarded a mobile TV licence have entered into talks with Orange and other mobile operators about the service’s business plan. So far, the introduction of what the French call TMP (Television Mobile Personnelle), is not moving forward according to the original plan.

The broadcasters are concerned about the business plan and expect the mobile operators to pay a fee per subscribers to them. Earlier this month at a meeting with the media authority CSA they reiterated their confidence in the future of the mobile TV and the DVB-H standard.

They share a common position on the economic model, and stressed the need for collaboration between publishers and distributors to ensure the success of the TMP in France. They also stressed the fact that they will need the active support of the operators.

It was agreed that another meeting would take place very soon to monitor progress and to make sure that the effective launch of the mobile TV service can take place as soon as possible.

We note, however, that the slow progress of the negotiations between the parties might indicate serious doubts about the feasibility of a subscription based mobile TV service. In Germany, the business model has failed and the interested parties are now licking their wounds and assessing the situation. Meanwhile in France, operators have now introduced hand sets which incorporate DVB-T receivers which allows reception of the free-to-air channels in the country.

It is too early to draw any conclusions and the various countries in Europe can not be compared in this respect, but the writing seems to be on the wall that to reach a feasible business model for mobile TV is not a very easy task.