TV Station Owner Tegna Plans to Launch Updated Streaming Apps

TV Station Owner Tegna Plans to Launch Updated Streaming Apps

A major owner of TV stations has announced new streaming offerings.

Streaming has become so popular these days that even incumbent broadcast and cable companies are getting into the act. Last week, Comcast and Charter, the two largest cable companies in the United States, announced a joint venture that will bring Comcast’s existing streaming products to Charter customers, while also developing new such products. 

Now, another major owner of TV stations has announced new streaming offerings. 

Tegna, one of the largest owners of TV stations in the United States and the single largest owner of NBC affiliates, announced that it will soon roll out what it calls “new over-the-top (OTT) streaming apps and 24-7 streaming channels” at sixty-four stations in fifty-one markets. The apps will bring the programming to those without cable, and who prefer not to use an antenna to obtain local channels. 

The new effort is being piloted with two channels, 11Alive+ in Atlanta and WTHR13+ in Indianapolis. The channels will be available on the Roku and Fire TV platforms, with more to come, later on, the company said in its release. 

The apps will update the original versions that rolled out last year, the company said. Per Broadcasting and Cable, the existing apps are generating over 300,000 monthly active users. They will include a 24-hour “Watch” stream, consisting of both live and replayed local newscasts. Also included will be sports programming and “VERIFY,” a weekly show “dedicated to stopping the spread of misinformation.” 

"With more than 100 million minutes of streaming per month on our first-generation apps, it is clear that our viewers crave live and on-demand local content," Adam Ostrow, TEGNA’s chief digital officer, said in the announcement. "Now, with 24-7 access to news, sports, lifestyle content, weather forecasts, and more, stations are delivering on our ‘live, local and always on’ promise more than ever, making our valuable and important local content available to viewers when they want it."

Last September, Tegna launched the Quest app, which offered what it called “hundreds of hours of adventure reality content” to viewers, including such shows as Ice Vikings, The Aviators, Scrap Kings, Mayday, Huge Moves, Monster Moves, Giant Lobster Hunters, Chasing Monsters and Aussie Gold Hunters

Tegna consists of the TV stations that were formally owned by Gannett, as a result of a corporate separation in 2015 in which the company’s newspaper operations retained the Gannett name. In late 2020, Tegna went through a large carriage dispute with DirecTV, resulting in the removal of its channels from that service for a time; there was a similar dispute the following year with Dish Network, which was settled in February of this year. 

Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver

Image: Reuters