Next Gen TV and the Future of Emergency News and Information

By John Lawson, Executive Director, AWARN Alliance

Next Generation Television, enabled by the ATSC 3.0 technical standard, is likely to change today’s broadcast television industry in fundamental ways. Business modeling is examining Ultra High-definition video and immersive audio, HD “skinny bundles,” “post-Nielsen” audience measurement, addressable advertising, conditional access, hybrid networks, and mobile services to smartphones and connected cars. Much less planning, so far, has gone into the opportunities and challenges that Next Gen TV offers for the mainstay of local television broadcasting: the production and distribution of news and weather. That’s about to change.

My organization, the Advanced Warning and Response Network (AWARN) Alliance,* has been focused on the reinvention of emergency alerting since our launch in 2016. We’ve made considerable progress toward our goal in preparation for the commercial launch of ATSC 3.0 transmission in 2020. Promises were made by the broadcasting and consumer electronics industries that we would develop advanced emergency alerting if the Federal Communications Commission would approve the voluntary transmission of ATSC 3.0. Our purpose is to keep those promises for our industries.

Now our mission is expanding: We are becoming just as focused on what happens after an emergency alert is issued. This means finding new ways to aggregate and distribute the news and information that individuals, families, and communities need to respond to, and recover from, disasters. “Resilience” is a term we all will hear a lot in years ahead as the world adapts to climate change and other threats. (Notably, the board of the Consumer Technology Association, an AWARN Alliance member, has adopted a “resilience agenda” for the global organization.) Next Gen TV will enable local TV news to build community resilience like no other media.

Read more here.

More from Radio Television Digital News Association.

Comments are closed.


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 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.


The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance