Signaling their intent to work together to launch ATSC 3.0, a broad coalition of station executives, led by those at FOX Television Stations, NBC and Telemundo Owned Stations Group, Univision, Tegna and Nexstar Media Group have announced their joint support of the standard.
With the announcement, Nexstar is representing Spectrum Co., the ATSC 3.0 spectrum consortium it founded with Sinclair; Tegna, meanwhile, is speaking for Pearl TV, a tech partnership that includes Cox Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Co., Graham Media Group, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group and Raycom Media.
“One big challenge was whether the big owners of valuable spectrum could work together, commit resources, and stick to the game plan. Done, done and done," said Jack Abernethy, CEO of FOX Television Stations, in a statement.
In development for six years, ATSC 3.0 is expected to be broadly launched by broadcasters beginning in 2020, concurrent with the anticipated introduction of consumer TV products equipped to receive ATSC 3.0.
The announcement follows the initial success of the Phoenix Model Market pilot project that today includes English and Spanish-language TV stations in Phoenix, the nation's 11th largest television market.
The station groups committing to the standard will continue to work collaboratively to determine how broadcasters can offer both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0, and also significantly expand the availability and footprint of next-generation ATSC 3.0 broadcast TV technology for audiences.
Codified by the FCC last year, the IP-based ATSC 3.0 standard is intended to enable broadcasters to deliver next-generation TV experiences to viewers. TV makers will start including compatible chips in sets starting in 2020. It’s unclear how and when the standard will matriculate to the mobile device market.
“ATSC 3.0 is something that as an industry we have to do,” added Valari Staab, president of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “The new standard will transform the way we deliver content to our audiences—including viewers who are consuming information in multiple languages and screens. ATSC 3.0 will also help us to better connect advertisers with the audiences they want to reach on any platform. We are pleased to be working with Pearl TV and our broadcast partners to ensure the new technology is set in place for both viewers and broadcasters when we are ready to roll-out the new standard.”