ATSC 3.0 “SFN” Scheduled For DFW Deployment


Three large broadcast TV station ownership groups have reached an agreement with American Tower Corp. to jointly construct and operate Single Frequency Network (SFN) sites to broadcast next-gen TV signals with the Dallas-Fort Worth market.

It’s the first step toward a national launch of ATSC 3.0, and involves Sinclair Broadcast GroupNexstar Media Group and Univision. 

The creation of an SFN allows for the testing, validation and deployment of advanced next generation broadcast services, which will provide many benefits to consumers—including what the Advanced Television Systems Committee calls “dramatically improved over-the-air reception, immersive audio, deep-indoor reception, mobile reception, zoned programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting.”

The agreement between the broadcasters and American Tower will serve as a test of a developed model for the transition from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0, and the deployment of SFN sites in preparation for future national deployment of ATSC 3.0 Next Gen broadcast services.

The stations involved include Sinclair-managed and Cunningham Broadcasting-owned KTXD-47, which was acquired in September 2017 for $9.5 million from London Broadcasting; and Univision’s Univision affiliated KUVN-23 and UniMás affiliate KSTR-49 in the Dallas market.

Nexstar is headquartered in Irving, Tex.

It also puts another dot on the U.S. map for next-gen TV’s rollout. In November 2017, a Phoenix “model market” project was created to provide the ATSC and its partners an open test bed.

“With the FCC’s approval of the ATSC 3.0 standard, broadcasters are eager and ready to demonstrate its many capabilities, business opportunities and consumer benefits,” said Sinclair President/CEO Chris Ripley. “This is an exciting time for television broadcasters as we deploy new technologies that will allow us to provide advanced nationwide business models that benefit consumers and allow us to remain competitive.”

Sinclair, Nexstar and Univision are parties to 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.