CHICAGO, January 10, 2017 — Alpha Media-owned WIIL(FM), licensed to Union Grove, Wisconsin south of Milwaukee, has become the latest MaxxCasting licensee to increase coverage-to-contour ratio immediately after going on air with the system. Since launching, the station also reports a significant increase in audience across its most valuable demographic.
Although its physical studio location is in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, WIIL has long considered metropolitan Chicago its main focus for coverage and advertising revenue. However, its contour also includes areas of Wisconsin including downtown Milwaukee, where reception has long been a challenge. Using GeoBroadcast Solutions’ newly patented technology, WIIL opted for MaxxCasting to improve coverage in Milwaukee’s most congested urban areas.
The WIIL MaxxCasting architecture simulcasts the main station signal to significantly improve building penetration and mobile coverage within city limits, allowing the station and its advertisers to reach a far wider audience. The station, which broadcasts on 95.1 at 50kW, reports a cumulative audience increase of nearly 2,600 listeners as logged through Nielsen Portable People Meter (PPM) encoders from October to November.
“In Milwaukee County, we saw a significant audience increase in males 18 and over from October to November. This is an important demographic for our Active Rock format, and we can directly attribute this increase to the MaxxCasting network lighting up more PPM units,” said Karl Wertzler, WIIL general manager.
The WIIL architecture comprises four MaxxCasting single-frequency network (SFN) nodes, each powered by GatesAir Flexiva FAX transmitters ranging from 200 W to 5 kW depending on local power needs. The nodes are installed on rooftops and towers north and south of the main highway running east and west through town (Route 794), and just to the east of equally busy Route 43 (which runs north and south) to ensure the most effective audience penetration.
Wertzler adds that a recent drive around Milwaukee showed clear evidence of the improvement in signal coverage and quality, including elimination of interference in many areas.
“This is my first experience with a system of this kind, but I can say with confidence that the additional coverage provided with MaxxCasting is clear,” he said. “There were many neighborhoods in downtown Milwaukee where the signal was very scratchy before we launched this system. Since launching, we have heard from businesses in that area with genuine interest in advertising since the signal is now considerably better. We are now pursuing these opportunities that simply were not available to us before.”
MaxxCasting systems use GBS’ unique predictive modeling software to maximize network topology, enabling broadcasters to increase coverage and revenue potential by reaching more PPMs and attracting new advertisers. MaxxCasting combines radio broadcast and mobile cellular technology to reduce or eliminate interference between the main transmitter and MaxxCasting nodes.
“Coverage within the busiest urban areas of Milwaukee has increased by more than 50 percent according to our measurements,” said Bill Hieatt, CTO, GeoBroadcast Solutions. “This opens up an enormous new revenue generating opportunity for a sales team that was typically focused on selling in the southernmost areas of the market, where coverage was not a concern. MaxxCasting brings the dual benefits of attracting new listeners and advertisers based on these improvements.”
Each node incorporates intelligent IP networking technology from GatesAir to transport and synchronize live program content across all transmitters—also supplied through GatesAir—which ultimately contributes to a seamless transition from node to node as mobile audiences move through the market. Unique antenna pattern designs by Shively Labs control the extent of each node’s coverage, while American Tower Corp accommodates the site infrastructure to support the MaxxCasting system and SFN architecture.
In addition to vastly improving coverage-to-contour ratio, MaxxCasting systems eliminate self-interference and signal degradation problems common with legacy booster systems. To outperform legacy systems, GBS uses highly accurate modeling software and proprietary formulas to measure a variety of environmental factors that affect coverage. Calculations related to height above average terrain, distance and power ratio between nodes, and antenna patterns versus interference areas, are among those used to predict coverage improvements. These customized settings at once improve market penetration and eliminate interference between the nodes.
About GeoBroadcast Solutions
GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC (GBS) offers proprietary products and solutions to enhance radio station coverage areas to maximize both coverage and revenue as well as the ability to zone audio (pending FCC approval) and RBDS/RDS. With several additional patents pending, new techniques for Single Frequency Networks have been developed to improve coverage. GeoBroadcast Solutions' charter is to innovate and bring to market technologies that help radio broadcasters maximize their signal and grow revenues. MaxxCasting will expand the coverage area of a FM signal. ZoneCasting, pending FCC approval, will provide technology to geographically target radio advertisements. These emerging technologies give broadcasters tools to compete in the face of innovations internet and cellular message distribution. GBS partners with: GatesAir for transmission and IP distribution equipment, Shively for antennas and combiners, and American Tower Corp for site infrastructure.
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