Joint Venture between SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group Launches ATSC 3.0 Next Gen Broadcast Solutions Business in U.S.
LAS VEGAS, Jan. 13, 2020 — SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) and Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI) announced Cast.era, a joint venture located in Arlington, Virginia focused on cloud infrastructure for broadcasting, ultra-low latency over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting, and targeted advertising.
Kevin Gage, formerly EVP, Strategic Development & Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair’s ONE Media subsidiary has been appointed Cast.era’s Lead Representative and Chief Operating Officer, and Park Kyung-mo from SK Telecom has been appointed Cast.era’s Chief Technology Officer.
With the aim to launch next-generation transmission services using both mobile and fixed broadcasting networks for the first time in the U.S., Cast.era plans to provide ATSC 3.0 broadcast solutions to Sinclair stations deploying the new standard beginning in 2020.
ATSC 3.0 is a suite of Next Generation Broadcast TV transmission standards that deliver not only ultra-high definition video and improved audio, but also enable targeted advertising, advanced emergency alerting and other data transmission capabilities.
ATSC 3.0, which works over-the-air, can also be converged with mobile and other IP networks to create a broadcast-broadband hybrid stream. Broadcasters will be able to enhance the customer experience by combining ATSC 3.0 one-way signals with mobile and other IP networks that support two-way data communication.
SK Telecom and Sinclair expect to achieve synergies by combining SK Telecom’s telecommunication technologies and Sinclair’s broadcasting infrastructure. Projecting that all television stations in the U.S. will ultimately deploy services using the new ATSC 3.0 standard, the two companies will actively pursue opportunities in the U.S. market.
Cast.era intends to build a cloud infrastructure for ATSC 3.0 broadcasting by applying SK Telecom’s cloud technologies including mobile edge computing (MEC), cloud structure management technology named ‘SKT All Container Orchestrator (TACO)’ and virtual network solution named ‘Simply Overlay Network Architecture (SONA)’ to Sinclair’s broadcasting systems. SK Telecom’s cloud infrastructure will permit virtualized and automated merging of both Internet and broadcast platforms using centralized services. Based on MEC technologies, Cast.era plans to introduce new media services applied with augmented reality.
Cast.era will also focus on introducing ultra-low latency OTT broadcasting services based on SK Telecom’s mobile MPEG Media Transport (MMT) technologies that enable transmission of high-definition video for diverse multimedia applications, such as Sinclair’s local news and sports content. These services will allow users to enjoy high-quality video content seamlessly in a mobile environment including travelling in vehicles.
Moreover, Cast.era aims to secure a competitive edge in the future advertising market by adding targeted advertising to TV broadcasting based on big data analytics.
At CES 2020, SK Telecom has successfully showcased news and sports broadcasting through the ATSC 3.0 broadcasting solution by receiving Sinclair’s television station (KSNV) in Las Vegas.
The two companies also agreed to work together for further advancement of high-quality broadcasting services based on 5G and ATSC 3.0. They plan to establish a 5G-ATSC 3.0 testbed in Jeju Technopark in Korea and also apply 5G-ATSC 3.0 solutions to Sinclair’s television station (WJLA) located in Washington, D.C.
Furthermore, SK Telecom and Sinclair will make joint efforts for standardization of technologies at international standardization bodies including ATSC, 3GPP and MPEG.
“We are confident that Cast.era will lead the ATSC 3.0 market in the U.S,” said Lee Jong-min, Vice President and Head of Tech Innovation Group of SK Telecom. “We expect to deliver a new experience to U.S. TV viewers through ATSC 3.0-based broadcasting services that combine the strengths of mobile and broadcasting networks.”
“The combination of two of the world’s leading telecom companies with independent and complementary visions of convergence marks Cast.era as a formidable new player in maximizing the strengths of both, using the remarkable capabilities of the new broadcast standard,” said Del Parks, Chief Technology Officer of Sinclair. “With our partners in Cast.era, we look forward to remaining at the forefront of platform and service innovation.”
“It is an honor to lead this new venture between two visionary companies and leaders in their industries,” said Kevin Gage, Chief Operating Officer of Cast.era. “We look forward to driving the innovative thinking of their vision and provide new services that will transform the wireless and digital ecosystems.”
About SK Telecom
SK Telecom (NYSE: SKM) is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.
Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group
Sinclair is a diversified media company and leading provider of local sports and news. The Company owns and/or operates 23 regional sports network brands; owns, operates and/or provides services to 191 television stations in 89 markets; is a leading local news provider in the country; owns multiple national networks; and has TV stations affiliated with all the major broadcast networks. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
Cast.era, is a joint venture of SK Telecom and Sinclair Broadcast Group located in Arlington, Virginia. It is focused on cloud infrastructure for broadcasting, ultra-low latency over-the-top (OTT) broadcasting, targeted advertising and also advanced emergency alerting and other data transmission capabilities. The JV is focused on achieving synergies by combining SK Telecom’s mobile and Internet communication technologies and Sinclair’s broadcasting infrastructure.
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SOURCE Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.