SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group have signed a joint venture agreement to lead the next-generation broadcasting solutions market in the U.S. and globally. The two companies will jointly fund and manage a joint venture company within the first quarter of this year.
The joint venture company will develop innovative broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0, the next-generation broadcast transmission standard, with the aim to commercialize the solutions for the first time in the U.S. market in 2019.
ATSC 3.0 is the latest version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard. It will support several advancements including mobile viewing, 3D television, 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD), high dynamic range (HDR), high frame rate (HFR), and wide color gamut (WCG) picture quality, as well as immersive audio.
The commercialization of broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0 – which enables data communications in broadcasting bands – will give rise to new services such as personalized advertisement and in-vehicle terrestrial TV broadcasting and map updates. It will also support two-way communication between broadcasting companies and user’s smartphone/vehicle/TV by recognizing user’s personal IP address.
SK Telecom and Sinclair anticipate all television broadcasting stations throughout the U.S. will adopt broadcasting solutions based on ATSC 3.0 within the next decade. Through the joint venture company, the two companies plan to actively provide ATSC 3.0 standards-based solutions to all U.S. broadcasting companies and seek other opportunities globally.
The joint venture agreement follows last year’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between SK Telecom and Sinclair at CES 2018 to jointly develop leading technology for ATSC 3.0 broadcasting.
“SK Telecom will work closely with Sinclair Broadcast Group to gain leadership in the next-generation broadcasting solutions market in the U.S.,” said Park Jung-ho, President and CEO of SK Telecom.
“Sinclair is excited to partner with SK Telecom, a wireless technology leader, to explore and commercialize solutions that optimize the economic value of our spectrum, our broadcast infrastructure, our programming ventures and our emerging OTT platforms. Bringing these assets together in a converged broadcast/broadband platform environment will be a significant value multiplier,” commented Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair.