News

ONE Media: Charter’s Next Gen TV Concerns Are ‘Misplaced And Premature’

The battle over getting Next Gen TV onto pay-TV platforms is heating up.

ONE Media 3.0 LLC, a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group focused on developing technology for the ATSC 3.0 television broadcast standard, fired back at Charter Communications over the cable operator’s criticism of the lack of standards for carrying ATSC 3.0 signals on cable TV.

Charter recently met with the FCC to voice its concerns about requiring cable TV operators to carry ATSC 3.0, citing the fact that it is not compatible with ATSC 1.0 and that broadcasters have not adopted standards needed for MVPDs to broadcast ATSC 3.0. ONE Media 3.0 said such concerns are “misplaced and premature.”

“At this time and for the foreseeable future, MVPDs will not require equipment to decode ATSC 3.0 signals because, with respect to the primary signal, a broadcast station that is transitioning to ATSC 3.0 must simulcast in ATSC 1.0 per the FCC’s rules,” said Jerald Fritz, executive vice president, strategic and legal affairs for ONE Media 3.0, in a letter to the commission. “As a result, MVPDs will continue to have an ATSC 1.0 source for the primary signal.”

Charter’s criticism over the lack of standards for ATSC 3.0 to be carried on cable TV platforms is also misplaced, Fritz said.

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Incentive auction Task Force Announces Filing Deadline, Procedures for Reimbursement for LPTV

The Incentive Auction Task Force
and Media Bureau have set October 15, 2019 as the initial deadline for filing
FCC Form 2100, Schedule 399, according to a public notice
released by the FCC on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

“The deadline is quick as we have been preparing our LPTV stations to get their projects in order for this release,” says Lee Miller, Executive Director, Advanced Television Broadcasting Alliance. “We will be reviewing the  details to help our members work through some misleading information circulating through the industry. We’re so pleased that the Low Power Television industry has been included in reimbursement funds from Congress and now we have the process to work through to rebuild our stations.”

The announcement comes at a time when LPTV stations and translators are having to consider the cost of operations.

"BE applauds the Incentive Auction Task Force and the Media Bureau for providing the much needed support the LPTV and translator market has been waiting for over three years," said Perry Priestly, COO of Broadcast Electronics in Quincy, IL. " It comes at a time when stations are struggling to survive. Now, they will get the much needed financial help they deserve when being displaced."

The Reimbursement Form, traditionally used by Full Power stations, has been revised for LPTV, translators and FM stations to include a "dynamic" interface that "guides users with prompts that indicate how and when filers must provide explanations and supporting documentation. Entities may be reimbursed for both ‘hard’ costs, such as new equipment and tower rigging, and ‘soft’ costs, such as engineering, project management, and legal expenses,” the notice stated.

For Doug Thompson, the overall process is a step in the right direction for the FCC.

"This looks like the FCC put some thought into it," said Thompson, Regional Sales Manager for Comark Communications. "I think the important thing is that broadcasters remember this is a reimbursement payment. Each broadcaster will have to pay first or make arrangements with their vendor to wait. Most vendors are willing to work with them.  This should work pretty well as long as people follow the rules."

The rules for filing include documenting eligibility for reimbursement, providing proof of licensing and transmission, as well as estimates for future costs and invoices for any costs already incurred.

Once the form and supporting documentation have been submitted, a Fund Administrator will review the file and, if eligible, will make an initial allocation. Stations will then be able to use this allocation to begin offsetting actual expenses. The amount of the allocation will be decided on several factors.

“The amount of the initial allocation, as well as the total amount allocated to each entity, will depend in part on a number of factors, including: the number of LPTV/translator and FM stations that file satisfactory Eligibility Certifications; the aggregate dollar value of verified cost estimates and actual expenses; and the amount available for reimbursement for each type of entity from fiscal year 2018 funds,” the notice stated.

The revised form is currently available on the Bureau’s Licensing and management system along with detailed instructions for filing, some of which were outlined in the public notice. A close-out deadline will be announced before the expiration of the program on July 3, 2023.

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Gray’s Howell Named B&C’s 2019 Broadcaster Of The Year

NEW YORK—Hilton H. Howell Jr., the executive chairman and CEO of Gray Television, has been named B&C’s Broadcaster of the Year for 2019. He will receive the award on Sept. 26 at the TVB Forward Conference in New York, and will be profiled in the Sept. 23 edition of Broadcasting & Cable magazine.

Howell has had multiple executive roles with Gray Television since 1993 and became executive chairman and CEO in January when Gray completed its $3.6 billion merger with Raycom Media. With the Raycom merger, Gray acquired stations in 34 new markets and became the largest owner of top-rated local TV stations and digital assets in the country. Gray operates in 93 markets and its station portfolio reaches 24% of U.S. TV households. Gray also acquired Raycom Sports, InVestigateTV and RTM Studios among production assets.

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ATSC 3.0 technology is 'the next generation' of television broadcasting

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - When disasters like the raging California wildfires or Hurricane Irma strike, technology often fails us.

Jerald Fritz, the Executive Vice President of ONE Media says the fragile cellphone system can complicate emergencies for the public and first responders.

“If there’s a shooting or some type of emergency and everybody is on their phone instantaneously what happens? They can’t use the cell phone system. So the emergency responders need to have the capability of not only having instant access to each other, but they need things that they can’t get today,” he said.

An emerging technology ATSC 3.0 could help solve the problem.

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ATBA Member Heidi Steffen Sees Big Future for Local TV

ATBA Board member, Heidi Steffen, SVP of Sales and Marketing at TitanTV Inc., sees a big future for local TV with ATSC 3.0.

“I see the future of local broadcasting growing more important for the local consumer as they continue to ‘cut the cord’,” Steffen said. “Then ATSC 3.0 will add another layer to local broadcasters that will keep them competitive in the forever changing world of content.”

ATSC 3.0 is the new standard of broadcasting that allows for a higher quality picture, better channel reception, advanced emergency alert systems, the ability to broadcast to mobile devices, and more. 

“For the full power stations to have the reach they will need to stay competitive, they will need the help of LPTV and translators, either by helping to keep their 1.0 signal going or by helping to strengthen their 3.0 signal,” Steffen said.

TitanTv is the broadcast industry’s major online software and information provider, which offers tools for program management, signal prediction, PSIP metadata, etc. 

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance