BE Strikes Deal to Help an NPR Multicast Get Going With 'Messagecasting'

BE Strikes Deal to Help an NPR Multicast Get Going With 'Messagecasting'
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Broadcast Electronics said it will participate in an initial rollout of PAD services for one of NPR's new HD2 programming channels.
BE is providing program-associated data such as song title and artist text for XPoNential Radio, which is an HD Radio multicast channel featuring the AAA format and produced by WXPN(FM) in Philadelphia. NPR is offering five such channels total.
"The 'now playing' text will be offered to participating NPR Member stations in association with the XPoNential programming content," BE stated. "Both data and audio content are then rebroadcast by the individual stations as part of their HD Radio multicast digital signals." NPR's Mike Starling said the deployment "will allow NPR to quickly and easily provide PAD data and playlist information to stations broadcasting XpoNential Radio."
Stations will have the option of buying BE's additional messagecasting services for interleaving of call signs, station branding, traffic updates, weather forecasts, sports scores and other local text messages.
BE's Neil Glassman said the agreement will give NPR and the stations airing XPoNential Radio a jump on messagecasting without a start-up investment in time and infrastructure.
BE will format PAD for the channel at its data center and distribute text messages to stations through an Internet connection for synchronous broadcast with associated audio content. Stations will also be provided with the capability of displaying the currently playing and nine previously played song details on their websites. A resource web page will be hosted by BE for individual stations to access historical PAD information to respond to listener inquiries.

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