Broadcasters Tap Verance to Expand Reach of NextGen TV Interactivity

ATSC 3.0
(Image credit: ATSC)


LAS VEGAS—In a move that will notably expand the availability of NextGen TV interactive applications to consumers, Verance has entered into agreements with Sinclair Broadcast Group, Gray Television, Graham Media Group, and Capitol Broadcasting Company to  implement the Verance Aspect audio watermark on stations across the station groups. 

Aspect is Verance’s high-performance implementation of the ATSC open watermarking standards.  The Verance Aspect watermark launches broadcast applications by carrying metadata and triggers  associated with NextGen Broadcast experiences through all distribution paths (including ATSC 1.0 over-the-air, ATSC 3.0 over-the-air, cable/satellite, and over-the-top services) to reach 100% of  connected televisions. Without the Verance Aspect watermark, approximately 80% of households are  unable to receive NextGen capabilities.  

As a result of the implementation, each  of the broadcaster’s NextGen Broadcast (ATSC 3.0) applications, which offer the opportunity to drive  new business models and revenue through interactive applications, can now reach up to five times the  number of homes by specifically enabling all homes that receive their television signals through the  NextGen TV’s HDMI connection via a cable/satellite set top box or media adapter.  

This announcement of major broadcaster agreements builds on the momentum that Verance  announced at NAB last April that LG Electronics was the first television manufacturer to implement  ATSC 3.0 watermark detection on NextGen TVs. Verance expects additional television manufacturers  to follow in LG’s footsteps. 

“Bringing Verance’s Aspect watermarking to all of our stations accelerates our NextGen Broadcast  applications strategy to better understand our viewers and to provide them with personalized  broadcast experiences,” said Mike Kralec, CTO, Sinclair Broadcast Group. “We believe that Verance’s  watermarking technology substantially enhances use of the NextGen Broadcast standard that we hope  that all the television manufacturers will adopt quickly.” 

A demonstration of the Verance Aspect watermark application will be on display at the NAB Show in  Las Vegas, April 16-19. As part of the ATSC Booth (#W3443), Sinclair will be showing how viewers can  have access to Broadcast App functionality by embedding the watermark in the audio signal that  launches the interactive experience on a NextGen TV for any pay TV or ATSC 1.0 over-the-air  viewer. The Broadcast App is then available to all NextGen T viewers who want to take advantage of  this new capability, regardless of how they receive the TV signal, gaining access to both broadcast and  broadband content. 

“NextGen TV is a game changer for broadcast television, and it is exciting to see interactive experiences  powered by Verance watermarking on Gray’s stations,” said David Burke, senior vice president and CTO of Gray Television. “With Verance watermarking, Gray can now proceed with confidence, knowing that  our applications can be received by the largest number of viewers across all of our signals and can help  Gray with our business objectives.” 

“Verance’s Aspect watermarking will enable Graham to reach our HDMI viewers with interactive  experiences,“ said Anthony Plosz, vice president and CTO, Graham Media Group. “This capability enables Graham  and other broadcasters to better understand and serve our audiences and to better support our  NextGen TV business opportunities.” 

“We are excited to rollout Verance’s Aspect watermarking across our stations to help drive the  distribution of our NextGen TV apps to a larger audience and to allow us to bring new NextGen  experiences to our viewers,“ said Peter Sockett, director of engineering and operations, Capitol Broadcasting Company. “This opportunity will help us to better scale the broadcaster application  opportunity.” 

“Sinclair, Gray, Graham, and Capitol are at the forefront of a broadcaster movement to establish a direct  connection with their viewers to drive engagement and revenue, and Verance is excited to have these  innovative broadcasters as partners. As interactive applications deploy across the United States with the  broader deployment of NextGen TV, we are excited for enhanced viewing experiences, such as sports  betting and dynamic advertising, that drive new revenue opportunities for broadcasters,” said Nil Shah, CEO of Verance.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.