Crown Castle Media has announced that it is leasing the bandwidth and
assets used by the Modeo DVB-H service to two venture capital firms, ending
its commitment to the stillborn mobile television service and taking on a $10
million dollar operating expense as a result.
The two firms involved in the purchase, Columbia Capital LLC and Telcom
Ventures LLC, will be leasing the spectrum at $13 million per year with an
option to purchase for $130 million or extend the lease for another 10 year
term in 2013 for $14.3 million. It is not known what the two firms plan to do
with Modeo’s former spectrum and assests which include the first US DVB-H
network in New York City.
Modeo was a company spun off by Crown Castle Media in 2005 to serve as a
provider of DVB-H services, and attempted to court T-Mobile and Sprint in
order to launch its mobile television service on a nationwide basis, but
T-Mobile committed to test with another competitor in Hywire, and Sprint reaffirmed its
commitment to its own platform.
Verizon launched Qualcomm’s MediaFLO service earlier this year in limited markets,
while AT&T also chose MediaFLO earlier this year as its non-cellular TV
platform, giving it the dominant position in US mobile television.
With these carriers either not committing or not interested in Modeo, the
future of the service was placed in doubt almost since the launch of the test
network earlier this year, never seeming to get out of a perpetual beta test
or able to sell any of its services. The future of Modeo itself is not known
as no additional details were provided at this time.