The FCC has now granted requests from five commercial and public US TV broadcasters for permission to test next-gen TV broadcasts from the transmission facilities of Univision’s KFPH-CD, which began ATSC 3.0 broadcasts last March.
“We are delighted to learn this week that the FCC is granting authority for ABC affiliate KNXV, NBC affiliate KPNX, CBS affiliate KPHO, Independent KTVK, and PBS station KAET to utilise the transmission facilities of ATSC 3.0 station KFPH-CD in collaborative testing. This is a very positive step forward and we are grateful for the authority to move the Phoenix Model Market project forward,” said Anne Schelle, managing director of Pearl TV, which is coordinating the Phoenix test market.
The goals of the Phoenix Model Market project are to test ATSC 3.0 television service and new business models, to develop a framework to facilitate nationwide deployment of ATSC 3.0 service (including best practices), to test consumer devices, and to collect real-time consumer input through surveys and focus groups.
Last November, the FCC adopted rules authorizing the transmission of the Next Gen TV standard, with a streamlined licensing process for the new technology effective this past July. But while the Commission’s Media Bureau is making changes to its licensing system, stations will must seek experimental authority. Such authority was granted to five more stations that are participating in the Phoenix Model Market project.
In March, the FCC authorized Univision’s KFPH-CD to transmit ATSC 3.0 transmissions as part of the model market “test bed” in Phoenix. At that time, the FCC said that any other stations wanting to utilise the Univision station for transmission of ATSC 3.0 signals must seek permission to do so.
The FCC approval letter notes that “in their applications, the Licensees have committed to continuing to air an ATSC 1.0 signal over their existing channels using their licensed facilities” and that “because of spectrum capacity constraints and in order to accommodate all of the stations that plan to participate in the Phoenix Market Trial, the Stations have requested flexibility to rotate their individual ATSC 3.0 guest signals on and off the ATSC 3.0 host station, KFPH-CD.”