Fox, Nexstar and others to make Phoenix an ATSC 3.0 'model market'

Camelback Mountain overlooking Phoenix. (Drew Hays/Unsplash)

Several broadcasting groups are banding together to turn Phoenix into a “model market” for the transition of over-the-air television broadcasting to the ATSC 3.0 next-generation standard.

E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA, Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications, and Pearl TV are working together to prove ATSC 3.0 technology can be deployed while maintaining existing digital TV service for viewers.

The model market testbed will work on confirming basic TV service parameters and performance, determining the appeal of next-generation high dynamic range video and immersive audio content to consumers, assessing TV application features and implementation requirements, testing interactive and addressable advertising functionality, determining consumer device and service appeal, and ensuring effective and efficient interoperability with multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) systems.

The announcement comes just days before the FCC is expected to vote on a draft order for the deployment of ATSC 3.0.

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The companies say Phoenix has 1.8 million households and that 1 in 5 of them use an over-the-air antenna for TV. Pearl TV—a business group with several broadcast members—and local broadcast stations owned by Fox Television Stations, Telemundo Station Group, and Univision will spearhead the effort in Phoenix.

“What we learn in Phoenix will be critical for a successful deployment of next-generation TV across the country. The model market collaboration will help broadcasters develop commercial launch profiles, station configurations, interoperability with MVPD retransmission and support requirements for a basic ATSC 3.0 TV service,” said Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle in a statement.

Stations involved in the testing include:

  • E.W. Scripps Company’s KNXV Channel 15 (ABC)
  • Fox Television Stations’ KSAZ Channel 10 (FOX) and KUTP Channel 26 (MyTV Network)
  • Meredith Local Media Group’s KPHO Channel 17 (CBS) and KTVK Channel 24 (Independent)
  • Nexstar Media Group’s KASW Channel 49 (CW Network)
  • Telemundo Station Group’s KTAZ Channel 39 (Telemundo)
  • Tegna’s KPNX Channel 12 (NBC)
  • Univision’s KFPH-CD Channel 35 (UniMas) and KTVW-DT Channel 33 (Univision)