Scripps Quietly Acquired Nuvyyo as Part of NextGen TV Plans

Nuvyyo Tablo DVR
(Image credit: Nuvyyo)

As part of its plans to build an over-the-air tech ecosystem for NextGen TV, E.W. Scripps quietly acquired the Canadian startup Nuvyyo in January of 2022, according to The Verge. Nuvyyo sells Tablo DVR devices (opens in new tab) used by cord-cutters that record over-the-air signals, a technology that Scripps told The Verge that it believes will be important in its ambitious plans for NextGen TV, aka ATSC 3.0 and the future of broadcast TV. 

Scripps revealed the $13.8 million acquisition in 2022 regulatory filing with the SEC that The Verge uncovered. It was the first to report on the acquisition.  

Nuvyyo’s Tablo devices could help with the adoption of NextGen TV, which the NAB has described as stalled, because it would allow viewers to get NextGen TV signals over an external device. Currently the vast majority of sets in home are not compatible with ATSC 3.0 and some manufacturers have not yet added ATSC 3.0 compatibility. 

Tablo announced the launch of a Tablo ATSC 3.0 Quad HDMI DVR in early 2022 (opens in new tab).

In a recent article, The Verge reported that Scripps has big plans for Nuvyyo’s devices: “`It’s a very important project to us,” said Scripps Networks chief distribution officer Jeffrey Wolf in a conversation with The Verge. Wolf didn’t share any details on how exactly Scripps plans to use Tablo going forward but said that it was `a critical piece’ of the company’s push towards broader over-the-air adoption — a push that also includes a marketing campaign dubbed The Free TV Project.”

“Wolf argued that an over-the-air DVR could make cord cutting more convenient and help over-the-air networks compete with streaming services,” The Verge article continued (opens in new tab). “`It allows viewers to watch over-the-air content essentially on demand,’ as Wolf put it.”

However, Nuvyyo has not yet released the promised 3.0 devices. Delays prompted the company in January of 2023 to issue refunds for customers who pre-ordered the device. 

In explaining the delays, Nuvyyoo noted in December of 2022 that “broadcast station ownership groups have indicated their intent to encrypt ATSC 3.0 signals using Digital Rights Management (DRM). To ensure that the Tablo ATSC 3.0 QUAD OTA DVR can display and record ATSC 3.0 content, even when broadcast signals are encrypted, we need to complete the development and certification of DRM software for the device. DRM decryption keys MUST be installed on the Tablo during manufacturing and cannot be added via later firmware updates. Because of this, manufacturing has been delayed while we confirm the certification requirements, add DRM capabilities to the product, and obtain certification from the ATSC 3.0 Security Authority (A3SA).”

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.