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Evoca sizes up Phoenix launch, setting up pay-TV battle with Cox

Evoca, a new pay-TV service that taps next-gen ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals and regular broadband connections to deliver live channels and VoD content, has identified Phoenix, Arizona, as its next port of entry.

Evoca is currently testing the service in Boise, Idaho, an area served by incumbent cable operator Cable One, with expansions underway into the Twin Falls area. A deployment in Phoenix would set up a pay-TV battle with Cox Communications, the primary incumbent cable operator in the market.

Evoca's guide aggregates a blend of live TV and on-demand content from multiple over-the-air and OTT-delivered sources.  
(Image source: Evoca)
Evoca's guide aggregates a blend of live TV and on-demand content from multiple over-the-air and OTT-delivered sources.
(Image source: Evoca)

Evoca referenced plans to bring its pay-TV service to Phoenix in an announcement this week about a collaboration with Unmudle focused on developing a local TV channel for adult learners featuring short-term courses and job-related skills programming. That work will tie into the service provider's broader Evoca Learn initiative.

The exact timing of Evoca's launch in Phoenix was not specified, but the expectation is that it could debut in the market by the end of August or early September.

Word of the coming launch in Phoenix comes almost eight months after Evoca kicked off an early access program/consumer trial in Boise. Evoca intends to open up the service to the public "soon" in Boise, Todd Achilles, Evoca's president and CEO, noted an emailed response to questions.

Evoca's early access offering in that market sells for a promotional price $20 per month for a lineup of dozens of TV channels, including local broadcast networks, plus a VoD library.

The 'Scout,' Evoca's hybrid over-the-air/over-the-top receiver. 
(Image source: Evoca)
The 'Scout,' Evoca's hybrid over-the-air/over-the-top receiver.
(Image source: Evoca)

Evoca's site makes reference to a full price of $49 per month, but there is currently no plan to end the promotional price of $20 per month, according to Achilles.

Evoca's hybrid platform delivers content via traditional ATSC 1.0 broadcast TV signals as well as new, IP-based ATSC 3.0 broadcast signals, along with direct Internet connectivity (if available). All of those sources feed into a device, called the "Scout," that runs Vewd's operating system and video software platform.

Evoca has yet to identify any other planned market launches, but has indicated it aspires to go national. However, Achilles has previously mentioned an anticipated, initial focus on mountain west states such as Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada, as well as west Texas and parts of Oklahoma.

Evoca represents one of several new services that will take advantage of ATSC 3.0, a next-gen broadcast TV signaling standard delivered over IP that is also capable of supporting 4K video resolution, advanced advertising and immersive audio.

While initial ATSC 3.0-based services will largely target new TVs and receivers with ATSC 3.0 tuners, the aim is to enable delivery of those signals to a wider range of devices and platforms, including connected cars and smartphones.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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