Industry Feed

Sinclair to test datacasting to EV charging stations via NextGen broadcast signals

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and USSI Global have announced they will partner to offer the nation’s first commercial datacasting service using the NextGen broadcast standard, also known as ATSC 3.0 — an effort that will also showcase how broadcast signals can serve other purposes.

“Predictions of broadcasters supplementing their programming businesses with ancillary services has captured the imagination of all broadcasters,” said Chris Ripley, Sinclair’s president and CEO in a statement. “It’s been a part of the ‘digital promise’ since we began the conversion from analog transmissions 25 years ago. Everyone has been waiting for the promises to be fulfilled.”

The pilot program will deliver data that includes dynamic local content, advertising and analytics to the rapidly growing electric vehicle charging station market.

The USSI Global-Sinclair pilot program will confirm the ability to support EV charging systems with dedicated content in select markets, refine the system design, optimize the presentation of content, collect audience data, validate financial assumptions and uncover unknown factors.

Plans call for the data exchange with charging stations and their digital displays used to showcase advertising and other content to be delivered via NextGen broadcast signals — opening a potential additional market for over-the-air signals. 

Sinclair will leverage existing content and advertising capabilities using NextGen broadcast capabilities. The pilot program will require wireless delivery, storage and integration of data into USSI Global’s ecosystem and will demonstrate a capability that can be scaled across the country.

Similar to a typical digital-out-of-home, DOOH, solution for foot traffic near an outdoor kiosk, this datacasting application supports multi-tenant advertising and real-time updates of local content, providing a unique personal experience.

This user experience combines local content and advertising with data file distribution to all USSI Global kiosks in a given DMA.

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Feedback to Sinclair will include audience measurement and impression-based analytics captured through USSI Global.

In addition, USSI Global’s field technicians will install and maintain all kiosks, and the company’s managed services team will provide remote monitoring, predictive maintenance and other support services from its full-service network operations center.

This datacasting use case will also demonstrate the potential for significant scalability as a growing business. The U.S. Department of Transportation has set a goal of 500,000 EV charging stations nationwide by 2030. When fully implemented, the goal is for EV owners to be able to find at least one charging port within 50 miles anywhere in the 50 states.

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