When Bonneville International bought three San Francisco-based radio stations, KOIT (96.5), KMVQ (99.7), KBLX (102.9), from Entercom in 2018, part of its plans for the stations was to boost their signals. There was a physical challenge: the East Bay Hills — a ridge of rolling hills that runs to the city’s east.
So, Bonneville called in GeoBroadcast Solutions, a Chicago-based company formed in 2011 to develop the ZoneCasting Geo-Targeting platform that allows the separation of the main channel audio of an FM radio station to its listeners. This ability to split a signal into local “zones” has gathered exceptional industry support.
Out of this development effort came MaxxCasting — a system of FM single-frequency networks with transmitters fully synchronized to boost the signal from the main transmitter with seamless transitions to and between the booster nodes. MaxxCasting uses modern cellular network design, broadcast, and SFN software tools utilizing high-resolution terrain data, including building heights, propagation tuning based upon real-time field measurements, and analysis of vehicular traffic and demographics.
The outcome is that MaxxCasting can expand the coverage area of an FM signal and allow for potential geographic targeting and fencing of text advertising and messaging.
Using this technology, GeoBroadcast upgraded and modernized the three Bonneville stations’ existing booster signals. Each station will now share antenna infrastructure through a multiplex system. The improved signal also increases penetration with Nielsen PPM Portable People Meters to help Bonneville accurately measure audiences and set advertising rates. The technology provides a solid, interference-free signal, sound, and HD Radio in the East Bay for all three stations.
So much for those East Bay Hills getting in the way.