NEW YORK (AP) — Cellphone company MetroPCS says it will sell phones with TV tuners this year, which means customers will be able to tune in to broadcasts from local TV stations.
TV stations have for years tried to interest cellphone companies in selling phones that can receive local broadcasting, with little success. Verizon and AT&T instead sold access to a broadcast network set up by Qualcomm, with national rather than local programming. That network was shut down last year for lack of interest.
The MetroPCS phones can’t tune in to the regular broadcasts destined for TV sets. Instead, they’ll receive special “Mobile DTV” signals some stations have adopted. A few portable TV sets can already receive these signals, for free.
It’s unclear whether MetroPCS Communications Inc. plans to charge for TV access.