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Broadcast industry leaders spearhead investment in RUN3TV

Partners Seek to Transform Over-the-Air Viewership Measurement Availability and Expedite Consumer Application Deployment

In a landmark move for local broadcasting, several leading local broadcast groups including Gray Television, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Hearst Television, TEGNA Inc., and The E.W. Scripps Company announced they are leading a collective venture that will revolutionize over-the-air (OTA) television audience measurement and expedite the deployment of innovative applications by broadcasters and receiver manufacturers.

The broadcast group investors will lead the funding to accelerate the commercial launch of the ATSC 3.0 Framework Authority (A3FA), the driving force behind the RUN3TV platform. Pearl TV anticipates the involvement of additional broadcast groups in this forward-looking venture. Progress Partners is the exclusive financial adviser for Pearl TV and A3FA initiative.

Designed for industry-wide adoption, the move unites broadcasters to offer new services and unlock the full potential of the convergence of broadcast and broadband that ATSC 3.0 enables. The effort provides a common method for viewers to take advantage of NEXTGEN TV broadcasting by standardizing broadcast application capabilities across manufacturers to provide interactive services and the convergence of over-the-air with over-the-top (broadcast + broadband) connectivity. The initiative marks a significant advancement in the digital broadcasting, highlighting the industry’s commitment to revolutionizing viewer experiences through collaboration and technological innovation.

For viewers, RUN3TV introduces an innovative suite of features designed to elevate the NEXTGEN TV experience, enabling functionalities like “Start Over” and advanced emergency alerts for broadcaster’s applications. This platform not only enriches the viewing experience with enhanced access to local news, weather, and on-demand content including VOD and streaming services but also provides viewers with immediate access to essential information and their favorite entertainment. With RUN3TV, viewers benefit from a more interactive, engaging, and modern viewing experience.

For broadcasters, RUN3TV is a game-changer, making it easy to integrate essential and advanced features across various platforms, while also allowing for the customization of unique services and content. This platform enhances broadcasters’ ability to gather detailed viewership data, offering insights that help tailor content directly to viewer preferences. With RUN3TV, broadcasters can not only provide seamless access to applications like “Start Over” and advanced emergency alerts but also significantly improve content discovery and viewer engagement.

Since 2017, Pearl TV has been instrumental in advancing the NEXTGEN TV broadcasting ecosystem, enabling ATSC 3.0 broadcasters to offer enhanced features for 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 elevating viewer engagement and operational efficiency through state-of-the-art technology.

“Our investment in RUN3TV and ATSC 3.0 is a strategic endeavor for local broadcasters like Gray, bringing additional, measurable value to local stations by providing more choices for our viewers. RUN3TV improves over the air viewership measurement, but it also gives our viewers more options at the touch of a button to engage deeper with their local stations,” said Pat LaPlatney, CEO of Gray Television.

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

Also critical to this effort is the collaboration with media measurement companies, including Nielsen and Comscore.

Nielsen and Pearl TV have worked closely since 2018 and Nielsen watermarking success was confirmed during early ATSC 3.0 transmission trials. More recently, Pearl TV and Nielsen have further engaged as the NEXTGEN TV rollout has now reached 75% of U.S. TV households.

“Nielsen is pleased to evolve our longstanding relationship with Pearl TV as we jointly explore the use of OTA ‘big data’ in our local TV measurement. OTA households have been a critical element of our local TV service for decades, and this latest development around RUN3TV is an exciting step in potentially being able to harness the power of OTA broadcasting data sources, which will only enhance our local TV measurement,” said Paul LeFort, Managing Director of Nielsen’s Local TV business.

Pearl TV engaged Comscore in 2018 to draw from Comscore’s long-term expertise with ‘big data’ as an industry leader validating, aggregating and providing solutions from return path data from virtually every Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) in the ecosystem. Comscore partnered with Pearl TV on the ATSC 3.0 trials and now brings more than two decades of expertise to the new RUN3TV platform.

“Our partnership aims to enhance audience measurement precision with big data capabilities for over-the-air, contributing to the industry’s growth and innovation. Comscore eagerly anticipates the rollout of RUN3TV by broadcasters as it will allow enhanced return path data capabilities increasing the customer satisfaction and value of measurement,” commented Brian Pugh, Chief Information Officer, Comscore.

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