Sinclair Broadcast, one of the biggest proponents of ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV, just joined Pearl TV, a broadcast TV consortium also focused on pushing the new standards.
Sinclair joins Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, and TEGNA, Inc. as a Pearl TV member, bringing the station count of Pearl membership to more than 750 stations. The group said Sinclair’s addition boosts Pearl’s reach to nearly half of all U.S. broadcast stations.
“From the beginning, Sinclair has focused on the exceptional advantages of a fresh start in over-the-air broadcasting afforded by the introduction of ATSC 3.0,” said Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley in a statement. “That is why we have been invested in and committed to improving over-the-air broadcasting so that it can better compete in today’s marketplace. We are excited to link arms with Pearl to ensure that the coming transition to ATSC 3.0 can be both swift and achievable.”
Pearl TV has been around since 2010, and has been a member of ATSC, the non-profit organization behind ATSC 3.0, since 2014. Sinclair and its subsidiary One Media have been developing and testing ATSC 3.0 technologies for years. The broadcaster’s participation will give the group a meaningful boost and could signal a more coordinated, industry-wide approach to deploying NEXTGEN TV.
NEXTGEN TV is gaining momentum this year as more stations prepare to switch over, and more manufacturers reveal plans for consumer devices. At CES last month, LG, Samsung, and Sony announced their intentions to launch 20 new NEXTGEN TV-enabled television models in 2020.
At the NAB Show last year, Sinclair, Pearl TV and others announced 40 U.S. markets that will be getting ATSC 3.0 by the end of 2020. Those markets include Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, California; Phoenix, Arizona; Seattle-Tacoma, Washington; Detroit, Michigan; Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Florida; Portland, Oregon; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; Nashville, Tennessee; Salt Lake City, Utah; and San Antonio, Texas.
The companies also said New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Boston and Atlanta were among the major markets where work was underway to identify NEXTGEN TV stations.
Features and services being hyped as part of ATSC 3.0 include improved over-the-air reception, mobile reception, immersive audio, deeper indoor reception, zoned programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting.