10 Stations, Seven Broadcasters Representing Major Networks, Affiliates, and Independent Stations Working Together On “Beta” Launch of New Broadcast Services
Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 – Forming the first collaborative single-market effort to plan for and implement a transition to next-generation over-the-air television broadcasting, E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA, Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications, and Pearl TV today announced a comprehensive effort planned for the Phoenix, Arizona TV market to show how next-generation ATSC 3.0 technology can be deployed while maintaining existing digital TV service for viewers.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to adopt policies at its November open meeting allowing for the voluntary deployment of ATSC 3.0 technology throughout the U.S.
Phoenix will serve as the first “model market” for deployment of next-generation TV, a sweeping improvement designed to greatly enhance over-the-air services for viewers and provide new options through smart TVs and other Internet-connected devices. The nation’s twelfth-largest TV market, Phoenix has more than 1.8 million households with more than one in five viewers relying on over-the-air reception for TV viewing. The “model market” effort will be coordinated by Pearl TV and broadcast stations owned by Fox Television Stations, Telemundo Station Group, and Univision will also participate and take an active role.
“What we learn in Phoenix will be critical for a successful deployment of next-generation TV across the country. The model market collaboration will help broadcasters develop commercial launch profiles, station configurations, interoperability with MVPD retransmission and support requirements for a basic ATSC 3.0 TV service,” said Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle.
Ten TV stations in the Phoenix market will participate in deploying the model market, which will launch soon and involve independent broadcasters as well as those owned by or affiliated with the major networks. Stations and companies participating in the “model market” ATSC 3.0 launch include:
- W. Scripps Company’s KNXV Channel 15 (ABC);
- Fox Television Stations’ KSAZ Channel 10 (FOX) and KUTP Channel 26 (MyTV Network);
- Meredith Local Media Group’s KPHO Channel 17 (CBS) and KTVK Channel 24 (Independent);
- Nexstar Media Group’s KASW Channel 49 (CW Network);
- Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ Channel 39 (Telemundo);
- Tegna’s KPNX Channel 12 (NBC); and
- Univision’s KFPH-CD Channel 35 (UniMas) and KTVW-DT Channel 33 (Univision).
TV Service Development Testbed
The Phoenix “model market” project will create an open test bed for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders in the TV ecosystem. The project has several objectives, including confirming basic TV service parameters and performance, determining the appeal of next-generation high dynamic range video and immersive audio content to consumers, assessing TV application features and implementation requirements, testing interactive and addressable advertising functionality, determining consumer device and service appeal, and ensuring effective and efficient interoperability with multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) systems. Creating an end-to-end model system will help foster industry consensus and drive ecosystem development. This includes development of the ‘lighthouse’ concept to keep legacy digital TV available for all viewers while new ATSC 3.0 services are being launched.
Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry. Its membership, comprising more than 230 network-affiliated TV stations, consists of eight of the largest broadcast companies in America including: Cox Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group Inc., Raycom Media, and TEGNA Inc.