FCC to Work with NAB on Expanding NextGen TV

Jessica Rosenworcel
(Image credit: FCC)

LAS VEGAS—During a speech at the 2023 NAB Show FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel announced a new public-private initiative led by the NAB to help with the rollout of NextGen TV, aka ATSC 3.0.

“Today, we are announcing a public-private initiative, led by the National Association of Broadcasters, to help us work through outstanding challenges faced by industry and consumers” said Rosenworcel at the NAB Show.  “This Future of Television initiative will gather industry, government, and public interest stakeholders to establish a roadmap for a transition to ATSC 3.0 that serves the public interest.  A successful transition will provide for an orderly shift from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 and will allow broadcasters to innovate while protecting consumers, especially those most vulnerable.”   

NextGen TV broadcasts currently cover about 60% of the country and industry figures like Sinclair president and CEO Chris Ripley believe it will hit 80% by the end of the year. But the standard is not compatible with the existing ATSC 1.0 broadcasts and few consumers have 3.0 compatible sets. 

In a meeting with the FCC in January, the NAB described the rollout as "stalled" and ask the FCC to set up a taskforce to help speed up the rollout

“The Future of TV” initiative will work to identify a roadmap to orderly transition ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0-based services as smoothly as possible for consumers, the FCC said. 

The Future of TV initiative is a public-private partnership led by NAB and working closely with the FCC, consumer groups, and others.  Working groups are expected to focus on addressing backwards compatibility and its impact on consumers; the final conditions needed to complete the national transition to ATSC 3.0; and consideration of the post-transition regulatory landscape.

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.