The Broadcaster Traffic Consortium, launched in 2008 as a new joint venture by Eight leading radio companies to build a nationwide network to distribute traffic data via radio technology, announces the addition of Journal Broadcasting, Regent Communications, Saga Communications and Corus Entertainment Inc. The Corus stations in Canada as contributing broadcasters for FM-RDS and HD Radio data distribution.
“Through the addition of these new broadcasting partners and continued contributions by the founding members, BTC has grown to cover U.S. markets numbering 82 FM-RDS and 74 HD Radio Data as well as the top 7 Canadian metropolitan areas with FM-RDS,” said Paul Brenner, president for the consortium and SVP/CTO for Emmis. “Each organization’s commitment to this consortium represents the growing strength of collaboration which unifies the bandwidth capacity and skills within our industry.” 77 FM-RDS markets and 63 HD Radio Data markets are active today with the remaining BTC committed markets to be completed in Q2 2009.
BTC is working with NAVTEQ, provider of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, BTC uses RDS and HD Radio technology to deliver real-time NAVTEQ Traffic and other location-based information directly to portable navigation devices and automobile in-dash systems. With the high bandwidth capacity provided via RDS and HD Radio technology, consumers can obtain high-quality, up-to-date information including traffic flow and points of interest when and where they need it most.
Brenner also said that broadcasters’ ability to monetize the HD Radio bandwidth is greatly increased by providing a one-stop shop for a low-cost nationwide data distribution channel. BTC represents a data distribution service that allows broadcasters to expand beyond traditional audio programming as their sole use of HD Radio technology’s capabilities and enable major service providers to leverage broadcasters’ free, over-the-air systems to meet consumer demand for interactive user-specific data applications.
Founding members of BTC are Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, Cox Radio, Emmis , Entercom, Greater Media, National Public Radio and Radio One. The growing membership base contributes to BTC’s burgeoning national footprint and includes such prominent organizations as Cumulus Media, Lincoln Financial Media, Hubbard Broadcasting and Cobalt Media.