Sinclair CEO Ripley: ATSC 3.0 is going to ‘supercharge’ the broadcast business

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LAS VEGAS—Delivering about as bullish of an assessment for a new network distribution technology that you’ll hear anywhere, Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group said the ongoing adoption of the ATSC 3.0 standard is going to "supercharge" the broadcast industry.

Speaking Wednesday on a CES panel focused on the ATSC 3.0 transition, Ripley said the standard meets five core “tenants” for the broadcast industry: it will help broadcasters deliver content to mobile devices; it works seamlessly on the internet; it enables targeted advertising; it provides robust content security; and it greatly increases the amount of content that can be delivered over a 6 MHz spectrum.

“It future-proofs our industry,” Ripley added. “This is the standard we’ll be using 10 years from now. If broadcast industry wants to prosper and thrive in this new IP world, there is no choice besides ATSC 3.0.”

Ripley made his comments as the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) also announced at CES that the ATSC 3.0 standards suite is on track for completion this spring.

RELATED: Sinclair, One Media will use ATSC 3.0 to collect user data

Ripley said he expects the rollout of ATSC 3.0 to be done in conjunction with the FCC’s auction repack. “It’s fortuitous for a lot of reasons. A lot of stations will be moved around, and a lot of new equipment will have to be purchased. And that will be ATSC 3.0-enabled.”

The fact that the standard has also been rolled out in Korea also helps, given that country serves as headquarters to so many television manufacturers. 

“No longer will TV be separate technology platform on its own, work seamlessly with the internet,” Ripley added. “When you have Netflix out there saying all video will be IP in 10 years, well, they’re right.”

Sinclair Broadcasting Group and its subsidiary One Media 3.0 have already begun shifting their ATSC 3.0 development efforts toward receiver design and user data collection.

Sinclair and One Media anticipate the technology and data gathering methodologies they are working on will be able to capture information relating to the consumer's actual viewing and consumption behaviors.

“No longer will broadcasters have to depend on expensive third party measurement services with small sample sizes and questionable results,” the companies said in a November press release.

Sinclair and One Media are considering multiple ways of monetizing the data captured by ATSC 3.0 Next Gen-enabled devices. The companies say that advertisers will get greater efficiency in spending with addressability and personalization, and broadcasters will get greater efficiency in reaching and capitalizing on a larger advertising market.