PMG and American Tower partner to accelerate ATSC 3.0 SFN deployment

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 
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PMG Forms Alliance with American Tower to Accelerate National SFN Deployment

  • Collaboration represents broadcast industry’s first comprehensive, end-to-end solution for SFN Development

BOULDER, CO — Technology infrastructure company Public Media Group (PMG) has formed an alliance with global broadcast and wireless communications infrastructure leader American Tower to enhance and expedite the delivery of Single Frequency Networks (SFNs) to the broadcast industry. The unique collaboration between PMG and American Tower is the first comprehensive, turnkey SFN service for commercial and noncommercial TV stations. Both companies will jointly build out the networks, while PMG will own, operate and manage the SFN infrastructure to enable broadcasters to maximize ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV revenue and deliver quality content and enhanced data services to consumers.

The shared infrastructure SFN deployment model also offers broadcasters economic benefits, including increased signal density and coverage and capacity improvements for their networks. Installation is much more cost effective with shared infrastructure and it can reduce ongoing operations and maintenance costs.

“PMG is committed to designing and operating infrastructure that maximizes opportunities for all broadcasters, and through our alliance with American Tower, we will be better positioned to rapidly deliver the promise of ATSC 3.0 and Single Frequency Networks to communities across the country,” said Joe Chinnici, PMG CEO.

Although PMG will evaluate all relevant towers when deploying an SFN for a DMA-based or statewide network, the alliance will afford PMG greater access to American Tower’s best positioned tower sites for improved coverage and speed to market in large, mid-size and rural networks. “We look forward to working with PMG to utilize our 40,000+ tower sites for potential SFN deployments nationwide,” says Steve Vondran, President of U.S. Tower, a division of American Tower Corporation. “With our experience working on commercial SFN deployments and test trials, our knowledge complements PMG’s mission to fully manage and operate the underlying infrastructure, so broadcasters have confidence in enhancing their signal coverage and capacity improvements to better reach their audience.”

American Tower will work with PMG to provide Site Development Services, including network RF design support, program management, zoning, permitting and complete RF installation and construction services. American Tower will also engage its national operations and maintenance organization and leverage its national Backup Power program to harden the network on American Tower sites.

PMG is actively working with commercial and public broadcasters across the country to facilitate ATSC 3.0 market transitions that anticipate the deployment of SFNs to increase signal density throughout DMA’s. PMG’s collaboration with industry experts like American Tower will help address one of the main industry challenges, the ability to expedite the deployment of these SFNs.

“Through our work with PMG, our analysis clearly shows that single frequency networks will lead to significant incremental advertising revenue for participating broadcasters,” stated Rick Ducey, Managing Director at BIA Advisory Services. “In addition to increased POP counts, SFN’s will allow broadcasters to more aggressively sell geotargeting and mobile advertising.”

Links: Public Media Group; American Tower