This time last year, NBCU chief digital officer George Kliavkoff was leading the effort to take a just-announced video JV with News Corp (NYSE: NWS) to reality. The situation for mobile is much the same now as it was for web video back then, he told today's attendees at Billboard Mobile Live in Las Vegas: "We were at a similar log jam a year and a half ago. There wasn't a lot of premium video being released (online) in a consumer-friendly way, so we decided to launch a joint venture (Hulu.com) and go down that path. I don't know why we couldn't do something similar for mobile."
So does that mean Hulu Mobile is coming? "The concept of putting multiple partners together to create a good destination on mobile devices is something we are interested in, but who knows if that would be under the Hulu brand or not? That's total speculation."
NBCU may have an intriguing option when it comes to starting a mobile video enterprise whatever the name. Kliavkoff said that when NBCU was trying to decide whether they should bid in the recent spectrum auction, they took an inventory of all their current holdings. Turns out of all the NBC TV properties, about 25-30 percent of their spectrum isn't being used, and with Telemundo, even more isn't being usedabout 65 percent (even after launching a compressed HD offering). The spectrum is "available to us to do whatever," including a wireless service, he said. Most likely, it would be done with the help of a partner, he added.
Disclosure: MocoNews.net is a media partner for Billboard's Mobile Entertainment Live.
By Tricia Duryee