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Sinclair to Partner with SK Telecom on Developing ATSC 3.0 Products

LAS VEGAS—South Korean telecom provider SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group have signed a joint venture agreement to develop and provide ATSC 3.0-based solutions to all U.S. broadcasters and explore other opportunities for the Next-Gen TV standard around the world, the companies jointly announced in Las Vegas on the eve of the 2019 International CES.

Together, the companies will fund and manage the new joint venture company sometime during the Q1, the companies said.

“Sinclair is excited to partner with SK Telecom, a wireless technology leader, to explore and commercialize solutions that optimize the economic value of our spectrum, our broadcast infrastructure, our programming ventures and our emerging OTT platforms,” said Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley. “Bringing these assets together in a converged broadcast/broadband platform environment will be a significant value multiplier.”

The joint venture will create new services leveraging aspects of the 3.0 standard, such as personalized advertising and in-vehicle terrestrial television broadcasting, the companies said.

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea in terms of subscribers and revenue. South Korean broadcasters, including KBS, MBC and SBS launched ATSC 3.0 broadcasts in 2017 and expect to provide nationwide coverage by 2021. 

The announcement comes one year after SK Telecom and Sinclair signed a memorandum of understating (MOU) at last year’s consumer electronics extravaganza to work together to develop 3.0 technology.

“SK Telecom will work closely with Sinclair Broadcast Group to gain leadership in the next-generation broadcasting solutions market in the U.S.,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom.

For comprehensive coverage on ATSC 3.0, visit TV Technology's ATSC3 silo.