Sinclair, Nexstar Team on ATSC 3.0 Launch in 97 Markets
Agreements covers 43 markets where both own stations, and 54 where just one does
July 20, 2017
IRVING, TEXAS and
BALTIMORE— Sinclair Broadcast
Group and Nexstar Media Group have reached a tentative agreement on principles
to coordinate the transition of the over-the-air delivery to ATSC 3.0 in 97 television markets.
tentative agreement—made pursuant to Sinclair and Nexstar’s previously
announced Spectrum Consortium—includes 43 markets where both companies own a
television station, and a plan to spearhead the transition for shared Next Gen
services in the 54 markets where only one of the companies owns or operates
Once the ATSC 3.0 standard is approved by the
FCC, the Spectrum Consortium expects that television stations will be permitted
to enter into channel-sharing agreements where existing ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 will be simulcast on different stations’ spectrum.
The agreements between Sinclair and Nexstar will
provide that the companies share their spectrum within their markets, with some
spectrum remaining as 1.0 and other spectrum migrated to ATSC 3.0 enabled Next Gen
services. The FCC’s recent broadcast spectrum auction and mandated repack of
remaining broadcast television stations has complicated the process of
transitioning to the new technology by eliminating much of the spectrum that was
dedicated to free over the air broadcasting. As such, the Spectrum Consortium
believes that agreed upon coordination principles are critical to ensuring that
a transition to the upgraded technology can occur.
“We look forward to working with Nexstar to
enable new and innovative services that add value to the viewers we serve, our
advertising clients and our broadcast assets. Sinclair and Nexstar are leading
the broadcast industry in this critical technology upgrade and we are confident
that through our coordination and mutual efforts we can navigate this
transition together,” said Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair.
And Perry Sook, chairman, president and CEO of
collaboration with Sinclair demonstrates Nexstar’s commitment to making ‘NextGen’
television a reality for the communities and businesses we serve across
America. Our research and analysis indicates that this market-based solution to
the transition is a win for broadcasters and for television viewers who will
soon have access to the enhanced over-the-air services that this new technology
can bring, which will enable us to remain highly competitive in today’s
multi-platform environment,” saidPerry Sook, Chairman, President and Chief
Executive Officer of Nexstar.
Specific market roll out schedules and sharing arrangements
are in development in anticipation of the FCC approval of the new ATSC 3.0
standard by the fourth quarter of 2017.