TV stations in Birmingham, Alabama, began broadcasting using the new NextGen TV format on Monday.
WTTO-TV, owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group and WSES-TV, owned by Howard Stirk Holdings, started transmitting ATSC 3.0 signals. The two stations are broadcasting programming from seven stations in the market using the extra capacity the new technology provides.
The other stations in the market, WABM-TV, WDBB-TV, WIAT, WBRC-TV and WVTM-TV will continue to broadcast using ATSC 1.0 until more viewers in the market buy TV sets that can receive ATSC 3.0 signals.
BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning process and coordinated efforts across the seven television stations in Birmingham.
NextGen TV promises a better picture, improved sound, access to more internet-based programming and additional digital services. Station groups expect those ancillary digital services to generate as much revenue as retransmission consent fees generate today.
TV stations in more than 50 markets have already begun the conversion to NextTV TV. ■
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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.