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Roberts Broadcasting turns to satellite distribution to support centralization effort

Roberts Broadcasting will begin using SES Americom’s SignalSAT service to share a full schedule of syndicated and network programming across three UPN affiliate television stations and open the door to cost-efficient expansion opportunities.

The 24-hour lineup of successful sitcoms, talk and variety shows, and UPN series originates from the station group's flagship operation, WRBU-TV 46 in St. Louis, where it's distributed throughout the viewing area and by satellite to viewers tuning in to WZRB-TV 47 in Columbia, SC.

A third station, WRBJ-TV 34 in Jackson, MS, is close to hitting the airwaves.

According to Michael Drainer, assistant chief engineer for Roberts Broadcasting, the service improved operating efficiencies and prospects for expansion and growth.

The centralized approach with distribution via satellite allows Roberts Broadcasting to go on-air without having to put together a complete a master control facility, staffing, engineering and monitoring for each station. What would have required 40 people can be done with 15, he said.

The SignalSAT service distributes a 3MHz digital signal via C- or Ku-band satellite that station groups can use to centralize operations and feed programming to their VHF and UHF channels.

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