Sinclair Broadcast Group continues to make progress toward launching a nationally distributed, mobile-first streaming platform, leveraging the potential of the new ATSC 3.0 technology standard.
Last week, Sinclair named three key management hires for its upcoming over-the-top service STIRR, which it said will launch in early 2019.
Former Tennis Channel executive Adam Ware will serve as general manager of the new platform.
Stacie Anthony, who previously served as executive editor of Comcast streaming platform Watchable, was named editor in chief of STIRR. And Ben Lister, a former business development executive at U.K. service Newsflare, has been named STIRR’s director of content acquisitions and business development.
Hinting that STIRR is getting close to launch, the trio appears to have been quietly at work on the platform for some time now. For example, Ware, who joined Sinclair when the station group purchased Tennis Channel in 2016, said on his LinkedIn profile that he’s been in his GM role at STIRR since October 2017.
According to Sinclair, STIRR will feature a curated mix of local and national content, and will be offered as a free, ad-supported app and website.
Sinclair’s mobile video strategy is closely tied to its upcoming deployment of ATSC 3.0-based receiver chips it is manufacturing itself in India.
The software-defined radio chips, which wholesale at about $3 apiece, will enable smart phones and other devices to receive over-the-air broadcast signals in 4K resolution. Sinclair said it plans to unveil the hardware at CES in early January. But so far, no smartphone manufacturer has stepped forward with a plan to integrate the hardware into their devices.