Major Broadcasters Launch NextGen TV on Seven Local Television Stations in Birmingham, AL
WABM, WDBB, WIAT, WBRC, WVTM-TV, WTTO, and WSES Begin Broadcasting with New Technology
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The leading television stations serving the Birmingham television market today began broadcasting with NextGen TV, a revolutionary new digital broadcast technology. Today’s launch includes WABM (ABC) and WDBB (ABC and CW), WIAT (CBS), WBRC (Fox), WVTM-TV (NBC), WTTO (CW), and WSES (Heroes and Icons).
Based on the same fundamental technology as the Internet and digital apps, NextGen TV can support a wide range of features that are currently in development. In addition to providing a new, improved way for broadcasters to reach viewers with advanced emergency alerts, NextGen TV features stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast to create a more life-like experience.
NextGen TV adds a new dimension to TV viewing, with vibrant video and new Voice+ dialogue enhancement that brings voices to the foreground. Movie theater-quality sound lets viewers hear every voice clearly and keeps volume consistent across channels. NextGen TV also can be enhanced with Internet content to enable viewers to get the most out of live sports, live news, and live events in real-time, without looking away from TV screens.
Powered by ATSC 3.0, NextGen TV is the most significant broadcast technology upgrade to date. Features available on NextGen TV will vary by device and station as broadcasters roll out service across the country.
Today’s launch in Birmingham follows a decade of development and months of planning and preparation by the local stations. WTTO, which is owned by Sinclair, and WSES, which is owned Howard Stirk Holdings, have converted to ATSC 3.0 transmissions. Those stations will broadcast their own programming, as well as the programming of the other participating stations, in NextGen TV format. All programming of all participating stations will continue to be available in the existing DTV format, which can be received on all modern television sets. BitPath, which is developing new data broadcasting services, led the planning process and coordinated efforts across the seven television stations.
From Honolulu to Houston and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, NextGen TV service is already on the air in more than 50 cities across the country. Birmingham viewers can learn more about NextGen TV by visiting www.WatchNextGenTV.com, which offers a guide listing cities currently carrying the service, as well as links to available NextGen TV set models.
Antenna viewers without NextGen TV sets can simply rescan their TV sets to ensure uninterrupted service. Rescan instructions are available at fcc.gov/rescan. Cable and satellite subscribers do not need to take any action.
About WSES – Howard Stirk Holdings LLC
WSES is a premier Birmingham television station owned and operated by Howard Stirk Holdings, LLC, (“HSH”) one of the largest minority-owned television broadcast groups in the United States. HSH operates seven full power television stations in six markets across the country and is a producer of premium original content known for telling stories that connect with people of all perspectives and shedding light on those neglected by mainstream news sources. WSES is affiliated with Heroes and Icons.
About WTTO and WABM– Sinclair
WTTO and WABM are leading stations in the Birmingham television market. Both stations are owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI), a diversified media company and a leading provider of local sports and news. WTTO is affiliated with the CW television network and WABM is affiliated with ABC and MyNet. Sinclair owns, operates and/or provides services to 185 television stations in 86 markets; owns multiple national networks including Tennis Channel and Stadium; has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks; and owns and/or operates 21 regional sports network brands. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital and streaming platforms NewsOn and STIRR. For more information, please visit wtto21.com, wabm68.com, and sbgi.net.
About WIAT – Nexstar
WIAT is a leading station in the Birmingham television market. WIAT is owned and operated by Nexstar Media Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST). Nexstar is the nation’s largest operator of local television stations and a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its broadcasting, digital and mobile media platforms. WIAT is affiliated with the CBS network.
About WVTM-TV – Hearst
Hearst Television owns and operates 33 television and two radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 22 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over nearly 70 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, Estrella and more. The radio stations are leaders in Baltimore news/talk and rock music listenership. Its Hearst Media Production Group unit produces original programming across linear and streaming platforms for domestic and international distribution. Its Very Local app, free to download on household OTT devices and available across popular streaming services, offers 24/7 access to local news, weather and an array of local and regional programming. Hearst Television is recognized as one of the industry’s premier companies and has been honored with numerous awards for distinguished journalism, industry innovation, and community service. Hearst Television is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hearst.
About WDBB – Cunningham
WDBB is owned and operated by Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation, an independent television broadcast company that, together with its subsidiaries, owns and/or operates 20 television stations in eighteen markets across the United States. Cunningham is a Maryland corporation headquartered in Baltimore. For more information, please visit cunninghambroadcasting.com.
BitPath is building the nation’s first dedicated broadcast data network to provide innovative new services like BitPoint™ and NavPath™ at a fraction of the cost of other systems. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the BitPath network will launch this year covering dozens of cities. For more information, visit bitpath.com.
WDBB; Cunningham – Michael Anderson
WABM and WTTO; Sinclair – Michael Padovano
WSES; Howard Stirk Holdings – Anthony Carr
WIAT; Nexstar – Gary Weitman
WVTM-TV; Hearst Television – Tom Campo
BitPath – John Hane