US broadcasters Sinclair Broadcast Group, Nexstar Media Group, and Univision Local Media have reached an agreement with the leading wireless and broadcast infrastructure provider, American Tower Corporation jointly to construct and operate Single Frequency Network (SFN) sites to broadcast Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) 3.0 signals within the Dallas Designated Market Area (DMA), as a first step toward a national launch.
The SFN will allow for the testing, validation and deployment of advanced next generation broadcast services, which will provide many benefits to consumers, including dramatically improved over-the-air reception, immersive audio, deep-indoor reception, mobile reception, zoned programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting, among others.
The agreement between the broadcasters and American Tower will serve as a test of a developed model for the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0 and the deployment of SFN sites in preparation for future national deployment of ATSC 3.0 Next Gen broadcast services. In addition to over 40,000 US. tower sites and expertise in installing broadcast equipment, American Tower provides proficiency, through its ecosystem partners, in network connectivity, SFN synchronisation, wireless RAN and radio frequency propagation. The result of this buildout and the associated engineering is expected to provide a deployment roadmap that delivers cost efficiencies for broadcasters and increases speed to market for new Next Gen TV services.
“With the FCC’s approval of the ATSC 3.0 standard, broadcasters are eager and ready to demonstrate its many capabilities, business opportunities and consumer benefits,” commented Chris Ripley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group. “This is an exciting time for television broadcasters as we deploy new technologies that will allow us to provide advanced nationwide business models that benefit consumers and allow us to remain competitive.”
“As a leader in wireless infrastructure with over 20 years of expertise in the broadcast industry, we are excited about this opportunity to help broadcasters speed Next Gen TV deployments,” declared Steven Marshall, Executive Vice President and President, US Tower, a division of American Tower. “The combination of our broadcast and wireless assets, industry expertise, coupled with these three television broadcast leaders will help to make ATSC 3.0 a reality for broadcasters.”
Sinclair, Nexstar and Univision are parties to a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a consortium that will promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetisation and enhance their abilities to compete in the wireless data transmission sector.