Stations in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Asheville-Anderson market in South Carolina have started the transition to NextGen TV, the new digital broadcast standard.
Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WLOS-TV, Nexstar’s WSPA-TV, Gray TV’s WHNS-TV, Hearst’s WYFF-TV and Cunningham Broadcasting’s WMYA-TV are involved in shifting to the ATSC 3.0 format, which enables better picture and audio, access to internet-based programming and new digital services that are being developed.
A BIA study said that broadcasters could generate up to $15 billion in additional revenue from services enabled by NextGen TV.
Starting Thursday, WMYA is broadcasting a NextGen signal that has the capacity to carry its own programming as well as programming from the other stations in the market. All of the stations’ programming will continue to be available in the existing digital ATSC 1.0 format until more NextGen capable receivers are in the market. Those "multicasting" arrangements have prompted lobbying by multichannel distributors at the Federal Communications Commission, concerned about broadcasters having a "loophole" around spectrum aggregation safeguards. The National Association of Broadcasters has pushed back against such concerns.
The launch follows a decade of development and months of planning coordinated by BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services.
NextGen broadcasts are currently available in about 45 cities. ■
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.
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