Stations from Meredith, Nexstar, Sinclair and Tegna have applied for FCC approval to launch NextGen TV in Oregon.
The Pearl station groups are betting on targeted advertising and see TV sets with consumer-friendly interfaces as a critical stepping stone to that. Sinclair wants to bring the mobile audience back to broadcasting and explore datacasting. And the Big Four broadcast networks? Their vision is no vision at all.
The Pearl consortium of several large commercial TV station groups and the Association of Public Television Stations are expected to take the lead asking for FCC approval of the next-gen transmission standard. They want to “sync up” the transition to it with the forced migration to new channels that many stations may have to make if the FCC’s incentive auction of TV spectrum is successful next spring.
The Pearl group of nine major station groups and Sinclair have agreed to work with the consumer electronics giant over the next 18 months to develop and test new features and services that will support broadcasters’ evolving business models for the next-generation broadcast TV standard.
NewsON is additional evidence that broadcasters have matured and recognized the wisdom of cooperation in the digital sphere. Founded by five major station groups, it plans to aggregate local newscasts from around the country and offer them on an ad-supported basis to consumers so they can watch on mobile devices or connected TVs. It could be another good opportunity for stations to deliver their news programming to the hard-to-reach viewers.
Jerald Fritz of ONE Media says if broadcasters can submit a petition to the commission this summer, the FCC may be able to conduct a rulemaking and give its blessing late this year or early next. That means TV stations could be on the air with the standard sometime in 2017, he adds.