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US broadcasters team up for ATSC 3.0 rollout

A coalition of US broadcast television station groups, including both network owned-and-operated stations and affiliates, as well as public broadcasters, has unveiled plans to deploy Next-Gen TV – meaning TV based on the ATSC 3.0 specifications ­- in the 40 largest U.S. TV markets by the end of 2020.

Participating companies include Fox Television Stations, NBCUniversal-owned stations, Univision, SpectrumCo, whose members include Sinclair Broadcast Group and Nexstar Media Group, and members of the Pearl TV business organisation including Cox Media Group, The E.W. Scripps Company, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group and TEGNA Inc.

Additional supporting broadcasters include America’s Public Television Stations (APTS), Capitol Broadcasting, Hubbard Broadcasting, News-Press & Gazette Broadcasting, and public broadcasters participating in the Phoenix model market Next-Gen TV test.

The market-driven effort builds on the testing and rollouts that have already taken place in Phoenix, Dallas, Baltimore, East Lansing, Raleigh, and Santa Barbara.

This first wave of over-the-air Next-Gen TV service will begin in several markets this year, with dozens more planned through 2020, according to the consortium.  This timeline will make Next-Gen TV service available to tens of millions of viewers and is concurrent with the anticipated 2020 introduction of consumer devices equipped to receive the advanced signals, the group said.