FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 10, 2000
For more information, contact
Jeff McIntyre, LTVS
Dara Goldberg, PBS
PBS Endorses DBS Local Station Retransmission Plan From Local TV On Satellite (LTVS)
LAS VEGAS, NV — The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today endorsed the plan for direct broadcast satellite (DBS) carriage of local television stations offered by Local TV on Satellite (LTVS). The LTVS approach calls for retransmission via DBS of a significant number of PBS member stations within their local markets as soon as new satellites are launched within the next three years.
The system’s unique capacity to pass the entire signal of stations converting to digital will be ready in time to meet the FCC mandate that all PBS stations make that transition by mid-2003. “We strongly support the LTVS plan because it ensures that DBS audiences will have equal access to all PBS stations and commercial affiliates in a market,” said Pat Mitchell, PBS president and CEO. “The LTVS plan is consistent with our long-term DBS strategy of securing carriage of the complete analog and digital services provided by local PBS member stations.”
LTVS will market to DBS providers all local television signals in markets covering up to 75 percent of U.S. TV Households. Jeffrey McIntyre, LTVS vice president of broadcasting added, “LTVS will offer three out of four American homes the most popular local informational and educational programming by carrying almost 800 local TV stations in the top 60 to 70 markets. The plan includes carriage of an estimated 178 public television stations on new Ka-band “spot beam” satellites operated by LTVS. Nearly 23 percent of the total satellite capacity will be dedicated to stations operating as noncommercial educational stations. We are very proud of the support offered by PBS and their member stations.”
The LTVS plan will use new kA-band “spot beam” technology to deliver local broadcast television stations. This technology allows the satellite to carry 210 transponders versus the 16 to 32 transponders on current Ku-band satellites used by direct-to-home (DTH) satellite providers. This increased transponder capacity will enable LTVS to deliver the entire 19.4 Mbs digital broadcast signal in markets served to include all PBS member stations, commercial network affiliates, ethnic, shopping, religious, independent, and educational stations. Mr. McIntyre added, “As the satellite community begins to incorporate local broadcast signals in its packages, it is imperative that the public interest be protected with regard to educational and community programming choices. Local TV on Satellite will retransmit PBS’s member stations as part of the DBS local TV broadcasting family. An ‘all-inclusive’ local TV service combined with the superior quality delivered alongside national channels by direct-to-home (DTH) satellite will now offer consumers real choice among multi-channel providers.”
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 346 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org.
Local TV on Satellite was founded in 1997 by Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc., and its subsidiary, Microspace Communications Corporation to develop and implement a plan to deliver via satellite all local television stations’ signals in each market served.
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.