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Weekly Media News Briefing, January 2nd-6th

By Michael Hurtig
Friday, January 6th, 2012
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Broadcast television is (finally) coming to a phone near you. MetroPCS, a mobile service provider, has announced that it has partnered with Mobile Content Venture (MCV) to broadcast digital tv to phones equipped with digital tuners. MCV is a joint venture of 12 major US broadcast groups, whose aim since 2010 has been to leverage the power of broadcast tv through cell phone and other digital delivery. Although a number of manufacturers, including mobile phone and pc companies, previously adopted tuners as a part of their products, they have yet to become popularized. Earlier this week the L.A. Times featured remarks by tv analyst Rich Greenfield, who has predicted that 2012 will be a “watershed year for the media industry and serve as a historic inflection point for traditional TV consumption.” Those who have been predicting television’s steady decline would be smart to keep an eye on the progress of digital broadcast to mobile – this free (albeit ad supported) service may do more than hold off next-generation television distribution.

Much celebrated political news site Politifact.com has come under fire for its ruling on the ‘lie of the year’. The lie of the year was attributed to those Democrats who asserted that “Republicans voted to end Medicare”. As reported by PEW’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, the controversy over this decree denotes the power of Politifact’s style of political reporting and unique products like its ‘Truth-o-Meter’, which simply rates the validity of statements made by politicians using a flashy, slightly comic meter. More on this story at PEJ.

As the world awaits fully integrated smart tv sets, Roku is bridging the gap with a flash drive sized replacement for its set top digital streaming box. The company has managed to pull the technology from its streaming box and fit it into a wifi-enabled stick which can meet viewers’ streaming needs.