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NAB Asks FCC to Extend License Status to Multicast Channels During 3.0 Transition

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As broadcasters continue to deploy ATSC 3.0 (aka “NextGen TV”) nationwide, the NAB is asking the FCC to clarify its rules surrounding TV stations’ content and distribution partnerships during the transition from 1.0 to 3.0. 

In comments filed with the FCC this week, NAB is specifically requesting the FCC:

  • Clarify that its existing rules permit a station transmitting in ATSC 3.0 to partner with one or more other stations that would host the first station’s simulcasted ATSC 1.0 multicast streams to preserve existing service in the market; and
  • Establish rules permitting a station transmitting in ATSC 3.0 to partner with one or more other stations that would host the first station’s ATSC 1.0 multicast streams—regardless of whether those ATSC 1.0 multicast streams are simulcast in ATSC 3.0—and also permit a station transmitting in ATSC 1.0 to partner with one or more other stations to host content transmitted in ATSC 3.0. 

“Grant of these requests will help preserve existing programming viewers enjoy today and will also help speed the rollout of Next Gen TV and its improved features and services to American viewers,” the NAB said. 

The association told the FCC that the commission’s rules requiring the maintenance of  1.0 service while simulcasting in ATSC 3.0 without any new spectrum allocated is forcing broadcasters to be “efficient and creative.”

“To those ends, broadcasters respectfully request the Commission to clarify and amend its rules to facilitate critical carriage arrangements among stations that are parties to an ATSC 3.0 deployment plan,” NAB told the commission, and require responsibility for programming to the licensed owners of the programming, rather than the station distributing such programming. 

Read more at TV Technology.