KONG-TV and GatesAir to bring NextGen TV to Seattle, WA

Wednesday, November 4th, 2020
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TEGNA’s KONG-TV and GatesAir Partner to Bring NextGen TV to Seattle, WA

CINCINNATI & SEATTLE — TEGNA Inc.’s (NYSE: TGNA) KONG-TV today announced it has partnered with GatesAir on the technological infrastructure for the launch of NextGen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, in the Seattle-Tacoma, Washington market. Pending final FCC approvals, TEGNA’s independent station KONG-TV plans to begin NextGen TV broadcasts for KONG-TV and KING 5, the NBC affiliate in Seattle, in early December, with KONG-TV serving as the host, or lighthouse station.

“The transition to NextGen TV requires cooperation from all stakeholders as we begin shaping the future of local broadcast television in Seattle and across TEGNA markets,” said Kurt Rao, senior vice president and chief technology officer, TEGNA. “GatesAir has been a valued partner in this process, and we’re proud to work with their team to bring NextGen TV to our Seattle audience.”

“In addition to being one of the top media markets in the United States, the Seattle community has a rich history of innovation and entrepreneurialism,” said Jim Rose, president and general manager of KING 5 Media Group, which includes stations KING 5 and KONG-TV. “Seattle was a natural choice to be one of the early adopters of NextGen TV technology, and we look forward to its potential to create a more enriching experience for our viewers.”

GatesAir will supply its Maxiva ULXTE-30 liquid-cooled transmitter to support over-the-air transmission of the NextGen TV signal. The ULXTE-30 will be equipped with GatesAir’s Maxiva XTE exciter to power TEGNA’s NextGen TV broadcasts as part of the Seattle Lighthouse initiative. GatesAir will also provide installation and commissioning support leading up to the early December launch.

“GatesAir’s high-efficiency transmitters are enablers for the many possibilities of NextGen TV content delivery, including 4K UHD television, immersive audio, and advanced emergency alerting,” said Bruce D. Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “In addition to supplying robust and reliable transmission technology, GatesAir’s experience with worldwide digital TV standards will help TEGNA maximize market coverage, support new digital services, and improve reception to mobile devices. Furthermore, this installation provides the core foundation for a future ATSC 3.0 SFN architecture that can strengthen TEGNA’s NextGen TV signal, and extend NextGen TV coverage throughout the broader Seattle-Tacoma region.”

In early November, KONG-TV will begin informing over-the-air (OTA) viewers in the Seattle-Tacoma market about the transition to NexGen TV and the need to rescan their televisions to continue to receive the station, regardless of whether they will receive a NextGen TV signal. No action will be needed for KONG-TV viewers who receive the station through a cable, satellite or streaming provider.