Nexstar, Sinclair Agree to Share Spectrum During ATSC 3.0 Transition

The groups said such coordination is necessary after losing spectrum in the FCC auction

Furthering their effort to maximize the next-gen broadcast standard, Nexstar and Sinclair have agreed to work together to implement ATSC 3.0 in 97 TV markets.

The tentative agreement, an offshoot of the Spectrum Consortium headed by the groups, covers 43 markets where both Nexstar and Sinclair have stations and 54 markets where only one of the companies owns or operates a station.

Under the agreement, Sinclair and Nexstar will share spectrum so that their stations can simultaneously broadcast using the current standard, ATSC 1.0., and ATSC 3.0 during the transition, the companies said. ATSC 3.0 still needs FCC approval.

The consortium said that kind of coordination is “critical to ensuring that a transition to the upgraded technology can occur.” The FCC’s recent spectrum auction and repack has “complicated the process” of transitioning to ATSC 3.0 by eliminating spectrum that had been dedicated to over-the-air television, they said.