News | December 1, 2020

Five Tampa / St. Petersburg Broadcasters Collaborating To Launch NEXTGEN TV Broadcasts Along Florida Gulf Coast

TAMPA, FLA. & ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Starting today, Florida viewers in the nation’s 12th largest TV market will get a taste of the future as local TV stations band together to launch NEXTGEN TV along the gulf coast.

“Watching in NEXTGEN TV allows a viewer to be immersed in stunning video with brilliant color, sharper images and deeper contrast that will make viewers feel like they’re really there. NEXTGEN TV adds a whole new dimension to TV viewing, with brilliant video and new Voice + dialogue enhancement. You’ll feel the power of movie theater-quality sound that lets you hear every voice clearly and offers consistent volume across channels. NEXTGEN TV is also enhanced with Internet Content to get the most out of live sports, live news, live events and more, in real time,” explained Pearl TV managing director Anne Schelle. Pearl TV is a business organization of nine U.S. broadcast companies working now to promote NEXTGEN TV.

From Phoenix to Portland, and Pittsburgh to Raleigh, NEXTGEN TV service is already on the air in more than a dozen cities across the country. The Tampa / St. Petersburg market joins the early adopters in rolling out the new third-generation digital TV broadcast technology that has the potential to revolutionize how TV viewers interact with their home screens.

Gulf coast viewers can learn more about NEXTGEN TV by visiting www.WatchNextGenTV.com, which offers a guide to cities carrying the service as well as links to available NEXTGEN TV models.

“The introduction of NEXTGEN TV, by rule of the FCC, requires TV broadcasters wanting to launch next-generation services to work collaboratively so that no current viewer is left behind. Thus, some stations are transmitting in the new format while others are hosting their competitors’ first-generation signals. We’re learning how best to serve our viewers so that they can make a transition to the new technology at their own pace,” Schelle said.

WMOR-TV (Independent) is owned and operated by Hearst Television and will serve as the host station for the market’s NEXTGEN TV signals from WMOR-TV, WFTS-TV, WFLA-TV, WTSP-TV, and WTVT-TV.

ABC affiliate WFTS-TV, owned by The E.W. Scripps Company, will host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.

NBC affiliate WFLA-TV, owned by Nexstar, will provide NEXTGEN TV signals to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.

CBS affiliate WTSP-TV, owned by TEGNA, will also host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.

Fox affiliate WTVT-TV, owned by Fox Television Stations, will also host existing first-generation digital TV signals and provide their NEXTGEN TV signal to WMOR-TV for broadcast to viewers.

“We want consumers to understand that the NEXTGEN TV experience from local stations will be getting better and better, as more functions and features are added down the road. NEXTGEN TV services launch in 1080P high-definition, with WMOR-TV also providing the market’s first High Dynamic Range video for enhanced performance on HDR-equipped receivers,” said Pamela Barber, President and General Manager of Heart Television. WMOR will also be the first station in the country to offer a secure signal compliant with the new A3SA security authority.

By merging over-the-air TV with the Internet, NEXTGEN TV is going to change the way viewers watch live broadcast television. Local stations can now personalize their news, sports, live events and shows with interactive features that give viewers the content most relevant to them. NEXTGEN TV is a feature built into select new TV models from LG Electronics, Samsung, and Sony that are now at retail and available soon.

NEXTGEN TV is designed to be upgradable so a viewer’s television advances with the latest technology. Features available on NEXTGEN TV will vary by device and by broadcaster as commercial service becomes available in local markets. With NEXTGEN TV, viewers can get:

  • Stunning 4K, High Dynamic Range video
  • Movie theater quality sound
  • Added voice clarity with Voice +
  • Consistent volume across channels
  • Enhanced Internet Content on demand

About Hearst Television:

Hearst Television owns and operates 33 television and two radio stations serving 26 media markets across 39 states reaching over 21 million U.S. television households. Through its partnership with nearly all the major networks, Hearst Television distributes national content over nearly 70 video channels including programming from ABC, NBC, CBS, CW, MY Net, MeTV, This TV, Estrella and more. The radio stations are leaders in Baltimore news/talk and rock music listenership. 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 Scripps:

The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP) advances understanding of the world through journalism. As the nation’s fourth-largest independent TV station owner, Scripps operates 60 television stations in 42 markets. Scripps empowers the next generation of news consumers with its multiplatform news network Newsy and reaches growing audiences through broadcast networks including Bounce and Court TV. Shaping the future of storytelling through digital audio, Scripps owns top podcast company Stitcher and Triton, the global leader in technology and measurement services. Scripps runs an award-winning investigative reporting newsroom in Washington, D.C., and is the longtime steward of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Founded in 1878, Scripps has held for decades to the motto, “Give light and the people will find their own way.”

About Nexstar Media Group, Inc.:

Nexstar Media Group (NASDAQ: NXST) is a leading diversified media company that leverages localism to bring new services and value to consumers and advertisers through its traditional media, digital and mobile media platforms. Its wholly owned operating subsidiary, Nexstar Inc., consists of three divisions: Broadcasting, Digital, and Networks. The Broadcasting Division operates, programs, or provides sales and other services to 197 television stations and related digital multicast signals reaching 115 markets or approximately 39% of all U.S. television households (reflecting the FCC’s UHF discount). The division’s portfolio includes primary affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV and The CW. The Digital Division operates 122 local websites and 316 mobile apps offering hyper-local content and verticals for consumers and advertisers, allowing audiences to choose where, when and how they access content and creating new revenue opportunities for the company. The Networks Division operates WGN America, a growing national general entertainment cable network and the home of NewsNation, multicast network Antenna TV, and WGN Radio in Chicago. Nexstar also owns a 31.3% ownership stake in TV Food Network, a top tier cable asset. For more information please visit www.nexstar.tv.

About TEGNA:

TEGNA Inc. (NYSE: TGNA) is an innovative media company that serves the greater good of our communities. Across platforms, TEGNA tells empowering stories, conducts impactful investigations and delivers innovative marketing solutions. With 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets, TEGNA is the largest owner of top 4 network affiliates in the top 25 markets among independent station groups, reaching approximately 39 percent of all television households nationwide. TEGNA also owns leading multicast networks True Crime Network and Quest. TEGNA Marketing Solutions (TMS) offers innovative solutions to help businesses reach consumers across television, digital and over-the-top (OTT) platforms, including Premion, TEGNA’s OTT advertising service. For more information, visit www.TEGNA.com.

About Fox Television Stations:

FOX Television Stations owns and operates 29 full power broadcast television stations in the U.S. These include stations located in nine of the top ten largest designated market areas (DMAs), and duopolies in 11 DMAs, including the three largest DMAs (New York, Los Angeles and Chicago). Of these stations, 17 are affiliated with the FOX Network. In addition to distributing sports, entertainment and syndicated content, our television stations collectively produce nearly 1,000 hours of local news every week. These stations leverage viewer, distributor and advertiser demand for the FOX Network’s national content.

About Pearl TV:

Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry. Pearl’s membership, comprising more than 750 TV stations, includes nine of the largest broadcast companies in America: Cox Media Group, Graham Media Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television Inc., Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, the E.W. Scripps Company, and TEGNA, Inc.

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