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FCC Grants New Experimental License to WKAR

Station and Michigan State to launch Next Gen TV station

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Federal Communications Commission has granted a new experimental license to Michigan State University and public TV station WKAR, who plan to launch a next-generation TV broadcasting station and a new media lab driven by the next-gen ATSC 3.0 standard.

The announcement was made by FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly during a visit to WKAR Public Media studios.

“We have authorized a new broadcast standard and it’s going to open up the doors to what television may be in the future,” O’Rielly said. “WKAR is now authorized to test out ATSC 3.0 in their new lab and work with public broadcasting stations covering 200 million Americans.”

WKAR is the first public broadcasting station in the United States to receive FCC authorization to begin experimental ATSC 3.0 broadcasts, the station said, and expects to begin ATSC 3.0 experimental broadcasting in September. The license is good for six months and then WKAR will be required to petition for an extension to continue the broadcasts.

Advanced Television Systems Committee Annual Meeting where representatives from the likes of Pearl TV, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Capitol Broadcasting discussed just how far Next Gen TV has come over the past few years. Consumer labs are being set up to gather feedback from viewers while field tests continue to roll out at stations around the country.

It was at that event that Michigan State’s David revealed that the university would be focusing on exploring opportunities for creating interactive content via ATSC 3.0.

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