New Orleans Stations Start Transition to NextGen TV

Bourbon Street in New Orleans
NextGen TV broadcasting is coming to Bourbon Street. (Image credit: John Colletti)

Stations in New Orleans began the transition to NextGen TV.

Tegna’s WUPL, cooperating with five other stations in the market, began transmitting signals using the ATSC 3.0 digital broadcast format.

In addition to its own programming, WUPL is using ATSC 3.0 expanded capacity to broadcast streams carrying the programming of sister stations WWL, Gray Television’s WVUE, Hearst Television’s WDSU, and Nexstar Media Group’s WGNO and WNOL.

The other stations will shift to ATSC 3.0 as more of New Orlean’s 660,000 homes purchase TV sets capable of receiving NextGen TV broadcasts.

Also: Local News Close-Up: Easy Does It in New Orleans

NextGen TV promised a better picture, improved sound and access to broadband programming. The ATSC 3.0 signal can also carry other digital services.

“Local broadcast stations play an important news and information role in the communities we serve,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, an organization formed by broadcasters, including Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Gray, Hearst, Nexstar, Sinclair Broadcast Group, E.W. Scripps Co. and Tegna.

“With changes in the broadcast television market over time, the value in bringing more innovation to newsrooms and viewers with smart solutions like NextGet TV is crystal clear,” Schelle said. “Launching NextGen TV enables broadcasters to deliver the latest news and emergency alerting information, which is critical in a geography such as New Orleans, where extreme weather events are common and local news updates and information is vital.”

NextGen TV is now available in more than 50 markets and is expected to reach 60% of U.S. TV households by the end of the year.

Pearl TV said that MediaTek and iWedia will be launching digital products that take advantage of ATSC 3.0 in the first quarter of 2023. ■

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.