News

ATSC Technology Group Selects Its Chairman

The senior manager of technical standards at SONY Home Entertainment & Sound Products – America has been selected to serve as Chairman of the ATSC Technology Group overseeing ATSC 3.0 Next Gen TV standards.

Taking the position with the Advanced Television Systems Committee is Luke Fay. He succeeds Madeleine Noland, who became ATSC President on Tuesday.

“As soon as the appointment of Luke Fay as ATSC Technology Group Chair was proposed, board members immediately and unanimously affirmed their support,” said 2019 ATSC Board Chairman Lynn Claudy, of the NAB. “That’s a clear reflection of Luke’s reputation as a highly competent and well- regarded leader in the ATSC community.”

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More from Radio & Television Business Report.

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ATSC 3.0 Next Gen OTA TV is Launching in Detroit

This morning in Detroit WMYD, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company, announced plans to launch ATSC 3.0 OTA TV. Also participating in the Detroit Next-Gen TV launch will be NBC affiliate WDIV-TV, owned by Graham Media Group. Sadly no date for the launch was announced.

“Scripps is a strong supporter of the development of ATSC 3.0 technology as a way to continue to improve the broadcast industry’s offerings for both consumers and advertisers,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps. “After our positive experience with KNXV as part of the test and learn initiatives in Phoenix, we are eager to launch this technology with WMYD in Detroit and help move the industry forward.”  Scripps’ KNXV participated in the launch of Arizona’s Phoenix Model Market for Next-Gen TV, a project managed by the Pearl TV business group of television broadcasters.

“The collaborative effort needed to launch this new technology requires that broadcasters work together for the benefit of our viewers.  Graham and WDIV look forward to launching the new Next-Gen TV station and the eventual launch of our own advanced signals on this platform.  The future of television insures a more expansive experience, with high dynamic range video and advanced audio features that will immerse viewers as never before,” said Emily L. Barr, President and Chief Executive Officer of Graham Media Group.

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Kiddoo Talks Government Reimbursement Program at NTA Annual Conference 

Jean Kiddoo and Hossein Hashemazadeh present an overview
of the displacement process and the government reimbursement program at the NTA annual conference in Reno, ND on Friday, May 10, 2019

An overview of the displacement process and the government reimbursement program was given by Jean Kiddoo, Chair of the Incentive Auction Task Force and Hossein Hashemzadeh, Deputy Chief, Video Division of the FCC at the National Translator Association Convention on Friday, May 10, 2019, in Reno, ND.

Kiddoo provided information on the report and order adopted March 15, 2019 that will allow low power television stations and translators to apply for reimbursements of costs.

The basic eligibility requirement is that LPTVs and DRTs filed an application for construction during the special displacement window and that application was granted. Stations that filed before the window and were granted are also eligible.

“Stations have to be licensed and transmitting for not less than 2 hours in each day of the week and not less than a total of 28 hours for a calendar week for 9 of the twelve months prior to April 23, 2017, the date the incentive auction ended,” Kiddoo said. “That’s a very important criteria.”

Before a station can get reimbursement, it will have to prove justification for reimbursement by fillign out Schedule 399, Request for Reimbursement and its important for stations who have gone through the updating and construction phase to keep up with their costs.

“They will need to provide some documentation, such as channel guides, electric bills or anything else that – we’re flexible about it – anything else that is going to show that there were actually operations that met this criteria during that time period,” Kiddoo said. “I would suggest that’s something that stations can be starting to put together now, even in advance being able to file a [Schedule] 399. That documentation will be important.”

The reimbursement program will work as a sort of bank account for stations to draw against as they go through the updating and construction phase.

“Each station will be given an allocation of expenses, so an actual monetary amount, sort of like a bank account that can be drawn against with an actual invoice that gets approved,” she said. “The reason we are doing that is that we think the new funding is going to be sufficient to cover the funding of full power and Class As and LPTVs and translators, we don’t know that until people file.

Stations who have not incurred expenses yet, but expect to, will need to submit an estimate. However, the task force has worked to simplify this part as well. “We have tried to make that as fast track as we can by publishing a cost catalog,” Kiddo said. While it’s not an actual vendor quote, “you can use the cost catalog essentially as a proxy for what you what you expect that expense to be,” she said. Stations will also have to prove that “they have not received reimbursement of expenses from other sources of funding,” Kiddoo said.

As part of the process, the forms for submitting reimbursement and the banking information are going through an overhaul for paperwork reduction.

“The media Bureau will release the form and announce a deadline,” said Kiddoo. “The [Schedule] 399 form will include the eligibility certification, the estimates of expenses that a station anticipates or importantly if a station has already incurred an expense that is eligible for reimbursement, that actual expense and invoice can be submitted at that time. There’s no need to put in estimates for expenses that are already incurred. An invoice and justification process should go in and that will be all that’s needed.”

The Media Bureau will give a Public Notice on the date and instructions for filing both the Schedule 399 and the 1867 Form.

The panel also provided an update on the auction repack and displacement process. With phases 0-2, completed, Hashemzadeh expects phases 3-6 to be completed by the end of 2019 and the remaining phases are scheduled to be completed by July 2020.

“We have over 250 stations that have already transition to repack channels,” Hashemzadeh said.

Hashemzadeh also warned those present to be vigilant in knowing when stations in their area are preparing to go on air.

“It’s your obligation to find out when the station is going to the new channel and make accommodations,” he said. “The TV station has no obligation to notify translators as to when they will start their services. You might want to start looking at these phases in your area”

To find out what phase stations are currently in, check out the LMS and the Current Transition Data, and the NAB’s TVAnswers.

Another window translator and LPTVs will need to be aware of is the transition date for digital conversion from analog on July 13, 2021.

“Records show thousands of TV translator/LPTV still operating analog or operating on analog/digital companion,” Hashemzadeh said. “[The lifted filing freeze] would give opportunity to them to file for digital application or for flash conversion to digital or for displacement to convert to digital.”

For more information on the auction repack and reimbursement program, please visit The Media Bureau Website.

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Maine manufacturing company dominates national antenna market

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Television stations throughout the country will soon have to change out their old broadcast antennas, and a Maine company will help most of them do that.

"We're producing 800 of the repack antennas, which is the vast majority of the work being done," Vice President and General Manager of Dielectric Keith Pelletier said. "There are 987 in total [needed across the country]."

They say the work is needed because of new regulations by the federal government.

"The government is trying to give more spectrum to the wireless carriers, in order to do that, they're using some of the existing broadcast frequencies, so they're putting the broadcasters lower in frequencies," Pelletier said.

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beIN SPORTS Partners with Azteca America to Provide Exclusive Media Sales Representation for beIN’s Network of Sports Channels in the United States

MIAMI & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--beIN SPORTS USA and HC2 Network today announced a partnership with Azteca America, a U.S.-based Spanish-language television network and operated by a wholly-owned subsidiary of HC2 Broadcasting Holdings Inc., to represent media sales under one unified force in the United States.

The partnership, which comes ahead of the 2019-2020 Upfront season, marks a television network milestone as Azteca America leads media sales for beIN’s English and Spanish-language TV channels to cover advertisers and clients under one umbrella on an exclusive basis – including beIN SPORTS, beIN SPORTS en Español and beIN SPORTS CONNECT, the live streaming platform. beIN SPORTS USA and Azteca America will deliver a powerful combination of high quality and engaging sports and entertainment content to the market.

“It is a new day at beIN SPORTS USA as we combine the stellar market reputation of Azteca America with the global sports portfolio and industry excellence of our programming to deliver innovative options to advertisers throughout the U.S.,” said Antonio Briceño, beIN SPORTS' Deputy Managing Director for the U.S. and Canada. “This is another testament to the power of partnership between key players in the media space to deliver unique offerings to advertisers.”

“HC2 Network is excited to lead this innovative industry effort as Azteca America continues to partner and deliver valuable solutions-based media to our advertiser partners through our quality content and highly engaged audience,” said Craig Geller, Executive Vice President, HC2 Network. “The prestigious sports channels of beIN SPORTS USA, combined with the broadcast reach of Azteca America Network, proves that ‘scale’ can be achieved by the combination of strong independents and not just the large media holding companies. Today, more than ever, clients are looking for opportunities to connect with our audience in an ever-changing media marketplace.”

Together with beIN SPORTS USA, Azteca America is breaking new ground on ways independent channels can scale and compete effectively with media companies that have a slate of their own channels. Collectively, Azteca America and beIN SPORTS USA represent an advertising platform that reaches more than 32 million people, according to Nielsen. (NTI Live+SD Time Period Report; includes six minute qualifier; M-Sun 6a-6a TP, 2017-2018 broadcast season).

Upcoming, Azteca America and beIN SPORTS USA will announce its programming line-ups and market innovations for the 2019-2020 Upfront marketplace.

For information on how to watch beIN SPORTS, please visit www.beINSPORTS.com. Follow us on Social Media: Twitter: @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @ESbeINSPORTS; Facebook: beIN SPORTS USA and/or beIN SPORTS En Español; Instagram: @beINSPORTSUSA and/or @beINSPORTSenEspanol.

For more about Azteca America, please visit www.aztecaamerica.com and follow on Twitter at @AztecaAmerica and Facebook at Azteca America.

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Logo

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