NextGen TV: Six Stations in Baltimore Launch Services

ATSC 3.0
(Image credit: ATSC)

BALTIMORE—The rollout of NextGen TV services took a notable leap forward this week, with the launch of ATSC 3.0 services on six leading local television stations in Baltimore. 

The stations include WMAR-TV (the Scripps-owned ABC affiliate), WBAL-TV (the Hearst-owned NBC affiliate), WBFF (the Sinclair-owned Fox affiliate), WNUV (the Cunningham Broadcasting-owned CW affiliate), and WMPT and WMPB (Maryland Public Television/MPT). 

The Baltimore launch followed months of planning and preparation by the local stations, the participants reported. 

BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning process and coordinated efforts across the six television stations, the companies noted. WBFF and WNUV will be charter members of the BitPath data broadcast network, launching later this year.

Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media at The E.W. Scripps Company, owner of WMAR-TV, said: “Scripps is thrilled to help bring the next deployment of NextGen TV to Baltimore, a community it has served through local TV for many years. With this new broadcast technology, our Baltimore audiences represent some of the first in the country to watch local TV through NextGen’s immersive audio and visual experience. We’re proud to offer our viewers a deepened connection with the essential local news and entertainment for which they’ve come to rely on at Scripps.”

Mark Aitken, senior vice president of advanced technology for Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of WBFF, said, “Our company’s home is Baltimore, a city that has nurtured our appetite for growth and innovation. It therefore is only appropriate for us to usher in the latest revolution in broadcast technology to our friends and neighbors. We are excited to bring the benefits of Advanced HDR by Technicolor, Interactive broadcast applications and other NEXTGEN TV features to our family and friends, and to provide them a new TV experience that is second to none.”

The launches will also expand the dedicated broadcast data network being built by BitPath. John Hane, president of BitPath, said “WBFF and WNUV extend BitPath’s coverage by more than nine million people and more than 2200 miles of major traffic arteries. Maryland’s commuters spend more time in traffic than drivers in any other state. BitPath’s groundbreaking data broadcast services, including important free-to-air services, can improve commuting safety and eventually help reduce commute times.”

BitPath is planning launches this year in dozens of cities, with more launches in 2022.

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.