USSI Global will upgrade Sinclair Broadcast Group’s satellite network in conformity with the FCC’s C-Band transition

Logos of USSI Global and Sinclair Broadcast Group

USSI Global, a provider of customized network, broadcast and digital signage systems and services worldwide, will modernize Sinclair Broadcast Group’s extensive satellite network in compliance with the FCC’s C-Band spectrum transition. USSI Global will inspect and upgrade Sinclair’s satellite infrastructure over a three-year period, with all work expected to be completed months ahead of the FCC’s December 2023 Phase II accelerated relocation deadline. USSI Global will also provide a suite of managed services to maintain the network during and after the transition.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, one of the largest TV broadcasters in the United States, owns, operates and/or provides services to 190 TV stations in 88 markets. The broadcaster’s satellite network supports critical uplink and downlink services for network affiliates, with 97 satellite facilities in operation around the country.  

The FCC’s initiative will clear 300MHz of the C-Band’s 500MHz bandwidth frequency for 5G mobile services, and relocate service providers within that spectrum to the remaining 200MHz. As the C-Band spectrum is mostly used for TV and radio operations, Sinclair is one of the many providers that will vacate the 300MHz targeted for 5G services. These transitions will require affected providers to navigate complex technical changes including installation of new satellites and antennas, upgrades to existing antennas, repointing of antennas and antenna filtering to align with frequency changes.

USSI Global’s project management expertise will provide a consistent level of service across all technical renovations, managed services and support. The company will utilize its team of RF field engineers and support staff to manage each phase. The ability to provide immediate response will “substantially accelerate repairs and limit service disruptions”, according to the press release.

“Similar to the TV spectrum repack initiative that just ended, the C-Band spectrum transition is a technically challenging and multi-layered procedure that will affect tens of thousands of earth station antennas,” said Del Parks, CTO and Senior Vice President, Sinclair Broadcast Group. “USSI Global offers the comprehensive project management experience required to navigate Sinclair through what will be a very time-sensitive and labor-intensive transition, while ensuring our satellite services continue to operate without interruption.”

USSI Global will guide Sinclair technicians through all system transformations, including the retuning of nearly 500 satellite systems; and modernization of satellite dishes, filters, IRDs and/or antennas across all 97 facilities.  

“Modernization of the satellite infrastructure requires a strategic partner that understands everything from re-grounding systems to maximizing the performance of the infrastructure,” said Harvey Arnold, Vice President of Engineering, Sinclair Broadcast Group. “USSI Global’s project management experience will ensure we meet challenging deadlines, while their technical knowledge will optimize our satellite contribution and distribution services upon moving to a new C-Band frequency.”

USSI Global COO Anthony Morelli adds that the managed services element of USSI Global represents an important new business direction for the company moving forward. “While our field engineers and technology partnerships will ensure a smooth transition and high-efficiency infrastructure, our managed services layer will accelerate their ROI by offloading advanced technical operations and system maintenance to our proven team of experts,” commented Morelli. “We look forward to working with Sinclair Broadcast Group on this important project as we work toward our shared goal of an August 2023 transition, and beyond that to reduce their technical responsibilities through our growing ‘as-a-service’ programs.”

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