Among the parties praising the FCC’s NPRM on ATSC 3.0 is Pearl TV, a broadcast TV consortium including Cox Media, E.W. Scripps, Graham Media, Hearst Television, Media General, Meredith, Raycom and TEGNA.
In particular, Pearl lauded the FCC’s proposal to make the shift from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 voluntary for broadcasters.
“As broadcasters focused on the development and deployment of new technology, Pearl is pleased that the FCC is launching a rulemaking that would allow the voluntary adoption of next generation TV. ATSC 3.0 will give broadcasters the tools they need to compete in a vastly different environment than when digital TV was first imagined. The move to an Internet Protocol-based system will deliver more content to viewers from more sources and insure that over-the-air broadcasting remains the primary resource for breaking news, emergency alerts, and a TV experience tailored to the desires of the viewer,” said Pearl TV managing director Anne Schelle in a statement.
Interestingly, Media General is still listed as a member of Pearl TV but Nexstar is not. Nexstar recently completed its $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General and the combined companies took on the name Nexstar Media.
While Nexstar Media hasn’t weighed in on the FCC’s progress on ATSC 3.0, Nexstar CEO Perry Sook did speak on an ATSC panel at the NAB Show New York in November, and sounded optimistic about the costs and the timetable for the shift toward the new standard.
In terms of Nexstar, Sook estimated the cost of upgrading 170 stations would be less than one year’s run rate capex for Nexstar. And he stressed that broadcasters can take their time with the transition and not feel obliged to jump to a full single frequency network (SFN) build out right off the bat.
“It’s a crawl walk run kind of a build,” Sook said.
Among other broadcast industry groups praising the FCC’s ATSC 3.0 order is the National Association of Broadcasters, which said the move “will foster technological innovation, increase opportunities for minority and female owners, and create new and unique services for consumers.”
Sinclair subsidiary One Media also commended the progress on ATSC 3.0, saying that the “benefit for viewers and broadcasters alike are as profound as any developed in the past 90 years.”