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The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies, 7 Volume Set by Fabienne Darling-Wolf, Radhika Parameswaran, Erica Scharrer, Vicki Mayer, Sharon Mazzarella, Kelly Gates, John Nerone, Angharad N. Valdivia

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13

The 800-Pound Gorillas in the Room

The Mobile Phone and the Future of Television

Max Dawson

ABSTRACT

Since the late 1990s media and telecommunications companies have invested billions of dollars in the development of methods for delivering television programming to mobile phones over wireless networks. In this chapter, Max Dawson explores the institutional conflicts that have shaped mobile television's development in the United States, paying special attention to the clashes that have taken place between mobile companies and broadcasters. For nearly a decade these adversaries have made mobile television a weapon within ongoing disputes over markets, resources, and policies. These conflicts have produced a succession of mobile television solutions that have emulated, reworked, and commented upon the technologies and protocols of the US model of over-the-air television broadcasting. Dawson argues that mobile television's remediation of broadcasting is neither incidental nor ironic, but rather is indicative of the institutional politics that surround emergent media. He situates mobile television's remediation of broadcasting within these political contexts, and in the process highlights the institutional factors that influence processes of media change.

Both wireless carriers and entertainment companies are used to being the 800-pound gorilla in any room. Now that they're in the same room, something has to give.

Kanishka Agarwal, Vice President of Mobile Media, Telephia (quoted ...

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