Broadcast Titans Invest in RUN3TV, Next-Gen TV Platform

In a significant development for local broadcasting, several prominent local broadcast groups, including Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, TEGNA Inc., and The E.W. Scripps Company, have come together to spearhead a groundbreaking initiative. This collective effort aims to revolutionize audience measurement for over-the-air (OTA) television and streamline the implementation of innovative applications by broadcasters and receiver manufacturers.

The leading local broadcast groups will provide the primary funding to accelerate the commercial launch of the ATSC 3.0 Framework Authority (A3FA), which powers the RUN3TV platform. Pearl TV, the driving force behind this initiative, expects the participation of additional broadcast groups in this forward-thinking venture. Progress Partners serves as the exclusive financial adviser for Pearl TV and the A3FA initiative.

The initiative is designed for widespread adoption across the industry, uniting broadcasters to offer new services and unlock the full potential of the convergence of broadcast and broadband enabled by ATSC 3.0. It establishes a common framework for viewers to leverage NEXTGEN TV broadcasting by standardizing broadcast application capabilities across manufacturers, facilitating interactive services, and integrating over-the-air with over-the-top (broadcast + broadband) connectivity. This collaborative effort represents a significant leap forward in digital broadcasting, demonstrating the industry’s dedication to enhancing viewer experiences through cooperation and technological advancement.

For viewers, the introduction of RUN3TV brings forth a range of innovative features aimed at enhancing the NEXTGEN TV experience. These features include functionalities like “Start Over” and advanced emergency alerts within broadcasters’ applications. RUN3TV not only enriches the viewing experience by providing enhanced access to local news, weather, and on-demand content, including VOD and streaming services but also offers immediate access to essential information and favorite entertainment options. With RUN3TV, viewers can enjoy a more interactive, engaging, and modern viewing experience.

For broadcasters, RUN3TV represents a transformative opportunity, streamlining the integration of essential and advanced features across different platforms while allowing for the customization of unique services and content. This platform enhances broadcasters’ ability to gather detailed viewership data, providing insights that enable content tailoring to viewer preferences. With RUN3TV, broadcasters can seamlessly provide access to applications like “Start Over” and advanced emergency alerts, significantly improving content discovery and viewer engagement.

Since 2017, Pearl TV has played a crucial role in advancing the NEXTGEN TV broadcasting ecosystem, enabling ATSC 3.0 broadcasters to offer enhanced features to viewers. The platform’s launch by over 91 stations in 40 markets, with plans for expansion to more than 200 stations in 53 markets by year-end 2024, underscores the broadcasting industry’s commitment to enhancing viewer engagement and operational efficiency through cutting-edge technology.

“Our investment in RUN3TV and ATSC 3.0 represents a strategic move for local broadcasters like Gray, providing additional measurable value to local stations by offering more choices for our viewers. RUN3TV not only enhances over-the-air viewership measurement but also provides viewers with more options to engage deeply with their local stations at the touch of a button,” said Pat LaPlatney, CEO of Gray Television.

“By integrating our applications into the RUN3TV platform, we are dedicated to uniting the industry in enhancing the viewer experience, including offering more interactive services and essential public services like emergency alerts,” stated Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Integral to this effort is the collaboration with media measurement companies such as Nielsen and Comscore. Nielsen and Pearl TV have collaborated closely since 2018, with Nielsen watermarking successfully tested during early ATSC 3.0 transmission trials. As the NEXTGEN TV rollout reaches 75% of U.S. TV households, this collaboration is poised to leverage OTA ‘big data’ for local TV measurement, enhancing the precision and value of audience measurement.

Pearl TV engaged Comscore in 2018 to leverage their expertise in ‘big data’ for enhanced audience measurement precision over-the-air. Comscore’s partnership with Pearl TV on the ATSC 3.0 trials and their two decades of expertise contribute to the development of the RUN3TV platform, which promises enhanced return path data capabilities, increasing customer satisfaction and the value of measurement.

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