Nexstar Media Group, Inc. and Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., (together referred to as “the Parties”) announced today that they have entered into a memorandum of understanding regarding the establishment of a consortium that will promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetization and enhance their abilities to compete in the wireless data transmission sector. The consortium, which will be jointly owned and controlled equally by the founding Parties, has agreed to collaborate on a non-exclusive basis and the consortium is intent on exploring the inclusion of other television broadcasting entities. Nexstar and Sinclair are two of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the nation and collectively own and operate television stations reaching approximately 60% of the country.
Unlike prior industry efforts which were based on flawed technology, this consortium has been established in anticipation of the adoption of the ATSC 3.0 "Next Generation" broadcast transmission standard and its proven capabilities. The consortium will promote innovation and develop and explore products and services associated with ATSC 3.0 and monetization opportunities such as spectrum utilization, virtual MVPD platforms, multicast channels, automotive applications, single frequency networks and wireless data applications, among others.
Upon adoption of ATSC 3.0, consumers will be able to integrate video content and data across numerous "smart" devices, to more effectively and efficiently address their information and entertainment needs. With the proper technology and data gathering methodologies, Nexstar and Sinclair expect to capture significant and meaningful information relating to consumers’ actual viewing and consumption behaviors. As a result, broadcasters will no longer have to rely on expensive third party measurement services with small sample sizes and unverified results. The value of this captured data across all Next Gen-enabled devices and their users can be monetized several ways. For advertisers, it will provide greater efficiency for their spend with elevated addressability, personalization and accountability. Similarly broadcasters will realize greater efficiencies in reaching and monetizing a significantly larger advertising market.
Perry A. Sook, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. commented, “We are delighted to join forces with Sinclair who has led the industry in advancing the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard and its adoption. By establishing a formal collaborative effort to advance the promotion of spectrum utilization, innovation and monetization through ATSC 3.0, we can more quickly bring its ground breaking benefits to broadcasters, viewers and advertisers based on the new technology’s ability to deliver targeted advertising. With the near-term conclusion of the FCC Incentive Auction, Nexstar and Sinclair are leading the industry in ensuring that we bring our respective shareholders appropriate value from increasingly scarce and in-demand spectrum. In addition, we welcome the involvement of other broadcasters who share our enthusiasm for the new technology which will allow our industry to continue to thrive in today’s multi-platform world.”
Chris Ripley, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. added, "Nexstar shares our vision for broadcast standard innovation and the benefits of knowing with precise accuracy who is viewing our programming, what they're watching and when they're watching. Data gathering, measurement and viewer behavior are critical considerations for advertisers and our collaborative initiative will ensure that Sinclair, Nexstar and perhaps other industry participants are out of the blocks quickly once ATSC 3.0 is launched. We believe this effort will maximize the value of our programming and ad inventory while creating new cross platform revenue opportunities that will benefit our respective shareholders."