While diginets still have some hurdles to face — such as rising program license fees — they have captured the attention of general-market advertisers and they are looking forward to the rollout of the upcoming ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard with its expanded capacity. What’s more, the multicast networks are relieved that the FCC’s incentive auction and ongoing repack of the TV band isn’t affecting their station carriage deals to any significant extent.
The classic movie multicast network is now cleared in 55% of the U.S.
When some stations started multicasting digital subchannels there were a number of engineering issues that made the process cumbersome. Today, although there are different methods to launch a diginet — from using network-configured equipment to running second channels through a station’s main master control — most broadcasters say the task is neither tough nor expensive.
The 24-hour movie network will debut on the subchannels of 17 Fox O&Os this spring.