Nexstar Media, Sinclair form spectrum consortium

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From left to right: Jack Abernethy, Fox Television; Perry Sook, Nexstar; David Smith, Sinclair; Pat LaPlatney, Raycom; Harry Jessell, TVNewsCheck.

Nexstar Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group are setting up a spectrum consortium ahead of the finalization of ATSC 3.0 next-generation TV transmission standards.

The consortium will promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetization and enhance the companies’ abilities to compete in the wireless data transmission sector, according to a news release. Nexstar and Sinclair, which together own TV stations that reach 60% of the country, will jointly own and control the consortium and will collaborate on a nonexclusive basis. The two companies will also explore adding other broadcast TV companies to the group.

The companies said that prior industry efforts were based on “flawed technology,” and that this consortium will focus on ATSC 3.0 and its “proven capabilities.”

“The consortium will promote innovation and develop and explore products and services associated with ATSC 3.0 and monetization opportunities such as spectrum utilization, virtual MVPD platforms, multicast channels, automotive applications, single frequency networks and wireless data applications, among others,” the companies said.

Upon adoption of ATSC 3.0, Nexstar and Sinclair expect to capture information relating to consumers’ actual viewing and consumption behaviors and, as a result, “broadcasters will no longer have to rely on expensive third party measurement services with small sample sizes and unverified results.”

RELATED: Sinclair VP: ATSC 3.0 will allow us to ditch Nielsen, save millions

As for monetizing the data, the companies said that advertisers will gain greater efficiency for their spend with elevated addressability, personalization and accountability, and that broadcasters will realize greater efficiencies in reaching and monetizing a significantly larger advertising market.

“We are delighted to join forces with Sinclair who has led the industry in advancing the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard and its adoption,” said Nexstar CEO Perry Sook in a statement. “By establishing a formal collaborative effort to advance the promotion of spectrum utilization, innovation and monetization through ATSC 3.0, we can more quickly bring its ground breaking benefits to broadcasters, viewers and advertisers based on the new technology’s ability to deliver targeted advertising. With the near-term conclusion of the FCC Incentive Auction, Nexstar and Sinclair are leading the industry in ensuring that we bring our respective shareholders appropriate value from increasingly scarce and in-demand spectrum. In addition, we welcome the involvement of other broadcasters who share our enthusiasm for the new technology which will allow our industry to continue to thrive in today’s multi-platform world.”

“Nexstar shares our vision for broadcast standard innovation and the benefits of knowing with precise accuracy who is viewing our programming, what they’re watching and when they’re watching,” said Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley in a statement. “Data gathering, measurement and viewer behavior are critical considerations for advertisers and our collaborative initiative will ensure that Sinclair, Nexstar and perhaps other industry participants are out of the blocks quickly once ATSC 3.0 is launched. We believe this effort will maximize the value of our programming and ad inventory while creating new cross platform revenue opportunities that will benefit our respective shareholders.”

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