Tribune FiOS Deal Includes Multicasting


According to a source, the Tribune station carriage deal with Verizon includes multicast DTV channels.

Verizon will carry Superstation WGN, Tribune's 26 analog and digital stations on its new video service per an agreement announced this week, but it will also carry any multicast DTV channels Tribune decides to program.

Of course, it will take a while before those stations are carried. FiOS just rolled out its first multichannel video system in Keller, Tex., last month, though it has begun lining up more franchises in Texas, New York, Virginia and elsewhere.

That's OK, Tribune is not big into multicasting yet, though that could change depending on whether or not the Congress decides to mandate digital multicasting.
Hearst Argyle CEO David Barrett, in a speech to the United States Telecom Association this week, encouraged its members to carry station's multiple digital streams.

"You are a natural ally in the multicasting debate. Your industry's stated desire to expand rather than impair consumer access to digital programming stands in stark contrast to the arguments of your competitors," Barrett said.

he was referring particularly to a speech by Verizon Chairman Ivan Seidenberg to the NAB in April saying that Verizon's fiber network changes the "conversation about scarcity to one about abundance."

A Verizon spokeswoman had not returned a call on whether that abundance, i.e. room for multicast channels, applied to Verizon's station carriage deals with ABC, NBC, and Scripps.