Omaha Stations Start Switch to NextGen TV Broadcasting

Downtown Omaha, Nebraska, at night
Five stations in Omaha, Nebraska, have started their NextGen TV transition. (Image credit: Pat Hawks/Wikimedia Commons)

Five TV stations in Omaha, Nebraska, are working together to begin the transition to NextGen TV, the new digital broadcast signal.

KXVO, owned by Mitts Telecasting, has begun broadcasting using the new ATSC 3.0 format, which can carry multiple programming streams simultaneously. WKVO is carrying the ATSC 3.0 signals from Hearst Television’s KETV, E.W. Scripps’s KMTV, Gray TV’s WOWT and Sinclair Broadcast Group's KPTM.

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Those stations are broadcasting their programming using the current ATSC 1.0 digital format so people who haven’t gotten new TV sets can continue to watch. Those stations are also broadcasting KSVO’s programming.

NextGen TV promises more vibrant video and enhanced sound quality. It can also be received on mobile devices and can capture internet-based programming. Stations are also planning to use the NextGen signal to provide other digital datacasting services.

Station groups have pointed to estimates by BIA Advisory Services that businesses using the new ATSC 3.0 technology would generate as much as $15 billion in incremental revenues for stations.

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BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning process and coordinated efforts across the five television stations.

Omaha is the latest market to begin the conversion to ATSC 3.0. About 60 markets have made the switch and broadcasters expect to be able to reach 82% of viewers in the U.S. with ATSC 3.0 signals by the end of 2022. ■

Jon Lafayette

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.