With the FCC’s approval on Thursday (11/16) by a 3-2 GOP-led vote to allow broadcasters to voluntary implement ATSC 3.0 next gen television signals at their UHF and VHF stations, Sinclair Broadcast Group subsidiary ONE Media intends to “fully deploy ATSC 3.0” on Sinclair’s stations nationwide.
The vote by the FCC to authorize use of the next generation TV standard marks both the conclusion and commencement of what Sinclair calls “a decades-long effort” to enhance broadcasters’ technical and business opportunities significantly.
As Sinclair explains, “The new digital standard will dramatically improve television pictures and sound and, for the first time, be receivable on mobile devices, over-the-air for free. The Internet Protocol-based standard will seamlessly merge broadcast signals with Internet-based content and also enable multiple new data transmission business opportunities for broadcasters.
Sinclair President/CEO Chris Ripley added, “We have advocated for a robust, broadcast-centric digital standard since 1997, and we are gratified to see that the ATSC, broadcasters and the government have now agreed to do just that. True mobile TV and data distribution, compatible with the internet, can now become a reality.”
Ripley congratulated the Commission “for its foresight and keen acknowledgement of the need for broadcast innovation.”
He added, “Chairman Pai’s leadership to craft rules that are flexible and non-intrusive is to be applauded. The Staff has done an excellent and thorough analysis in record time, and we appreciate its great efforts to think through ramifications and permit the market to flourish with minimal constraints. Now is the real test for the industry to make good on technology’s promise. We have our work cut out for us and we are up to the task.”
David Smith, Sinclair’s Executive Chairman, also had high praise for the Commission.
“As we have pressed for 20 years, broadcasters and consumers alike deserve the best innovations available,” Smith said. “We finally have that ability and are ready to lead an industry in deployment, service offerings, enhancements and business development. We are ‘off the plateau’ and ready to climb the next mountain along with our broadcast brethren, manufacturers, programmers and new business partners, looking down on wondrous new opportunities. There should only be upside for all concerned – including, most importantly, the public!”