NextGen TV spurs a renaissance of interactive television—how broadcasters can gain from it

By Anne Schelle, Pearl TV

Historically, television has largely been a one-dimensional viewing experience—a passive medium where audience members lean back, enjoy the news or entertainment being delivered—letting broadcasters take the lead on content with little opportunity to engage with the viewer. 

While this lean-back engagement scenario has been maintained for decades, broadcasters recognize they have an opportunity to innovate or potentially lose viewers to other digital experiences that package unique, relationship-building tactics, that go steps beyond what most broadcasters currently offer today.

Viewers can and want to lean in when it comes to technology, and now broadcasters are on the precipice of delivering an interactive experience. Today, NextGen TV (ATSC 3.0) is already live in 60 markets, transforming the television broadcast consumption experience for viewers by offering ways to receive and engage with news and content that matters to them the most. This evolution is enticing more broadcasters to make the switch to NextGen TV and embrace the future of television.

Interactivity is the focal point

Interactivity for television used to mean purchasing products through infomercials or shopping networks to a narrow audience. NextGen TV redefines what interactivity means, by enabling broadcasters to bring content to life. Built by broadcasters for broadcasters, RUN3TV is a new TV web platform that enables broadcasters to offer interactive experiences and streaming content to over-the-air (OTA) viewers for the first time. 

RUN3TV’s architecture allows broadcasters to develop, innovate and differentiate at the application services layer, enabling a consistent viewer experience across all NextGen TV devices. Broadcasters can choose their technical partners and take advantage of contributions from the RUN3TV developer community, putting them in the driver’s seat to control the product vision, audience data and viewer experience.

The power of RUN3TV and NextGen TV enables broadcasters to provide an on-demand broadcast experience, where viewers no longer need to watch along with a second screen.   

Simply utilizing what nearly every consumer is already accustomed to—searching for content in a web browser—and transferring that same experience to the television, provides a streamlined adoption for viewers as they experience their broadcaster’s NextGen TV content, be it news, entertainment, or emergency alerts.

Big gains for broadcasters 

With the NextGen TV standard and supporting technology, broadcasters gain by giving consumers more of what they want and tailoring the experience to capture the attention of a larger audience.


Consumers are looking to be treated as unique individuals rather than part of the masses, and this broadcaster application is how OTA can address consumers’ desires for personalization. 

With a platform that allows broadcasters to innovate the viewer’s experience, they can also count on viewers spending more time engaging with their content, which creates new revenue opportunities. Advanced advertising opportunities, display, lead generation and dynamic ad insertion capabilities that were previously unavailable to broadcasters are now accessible and help level the playing field for broadcasters among other digital providers already playing in this space.

Plus, these early applications will only grow more sophisticated and get better with time.

NextGen TV has grown by leaps and bounds over a three-year period, and RUN3TV equips broadcasters with a companion business platform they can use to innovate and create the interactive experiences their viewers crave, forging ahead into the future of television.

Anne Schelle, Pearl TV
Anne Schelle is a managing director of Pearl TV. Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry.