RALEIGH, N.C.—Capitol Broadcasting Company (CBC) launched ATSC 3.0 broadcasts of its WRAL NBC affiliate, WRAZ Fox affiliate and WARZ-CD (Retro TV), which is currently owned by Waters and Brock Communications but has been sold to CRC pending FCC approval, on Dec. 15, expanding the lineup of NextGen TV channels in the market.
Pending FCC regulatory approval, WUNC (UNC-TV, PBS) will launch over the next few weeks, CBC said. With the four stations and last month’s launch of Nexstar’s WNCN (CBS), WTVD (an ABC O&O), WUVC (Univision) and Sinclair Broadcast Group’s WLFL (CW) and WRDC (MyNet), the market becomes one of the few in the nation with all major networks supporting NextGen TV, CBC said.
“TV is the greatest wireless technology you forgot about,” said CBC President and COO Jimmy Goodmon. “NextGen TV is the next step in the evolution of free over-the-air television with new benefits like mobile broadcasting, personalization for viewers, advancements in rich, interactive media plus a much improved emergency alert system. It’s next level.”
In late June 2016, WRAL launched over-the-air ATSC 3.0 service with simulcasts of its noon news in 1080p HD and a 22-minute 4K/UHD HDR documentary on a separate channel operated with an FCC experimental license. WRAL ceased that 3.0 transmission in September 2019 as part of the FCC TV spectrum repack.
“I love being a part of a company that has always been out in front, and this transition is no different,” said Pete Sockett, CBC director of engineering and operations.
“The fact that WRAL was open to partnering with WARZ-CD, a Class-A, low power station, is wonderful. It will let us cover our metro quite well for linear programming delivery, but leaves us with bandwidth to start developing other viewer experiences, such as delivering Advanced Emergency Information, viewer specific content and other opportunities via a Broadcaster App. It is, yet again, a great time to be in this industry.”
ATSC President Madeleine Noland congratulated all of the broadcasters in the Raleigh market that are making NextGen TV available to viewers. “ATSC 3.0 is a powerful, evolvable platform,” she said. “Innovative, community-minded broadcasters like CBC and UNC-TV now have a flexible foundation to deliver amazing new experiences to viewers. With ATSC 3.0, television just gets better and better.”
Phil Kurz is contributing editor to TV Technology
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