Doubt it. The 720p H.264 encoders @ 17 Mbps were doing just fine with maxing out the fidelity you can get from such a low resolution. The affiliates re-encoding the C-band feeds to MPEG-2 and dropping the bitrate have always been the limiting factor on ABC's PQ. As long as they keep doing that OTA affiliates will continue to look like garbage whether or not they're being fed with a H.264 or a HEVC feed to transcode from.
Hopefully this 720p HEVC is just an intermediary step to upgrading the feeds to 4K HEVC next year. There are ATSC 3.0 affiliates launching in 2020 so they're going to need a way to feed them. I can't see any other reason for them bothering to upgrade to HEVC and buy all this new equipment because they're still leasing the same amount of transponder space so it doesn't seem to be a bandwidth savings measure.
A cheap or free option is to stream the 4:2:2 channel from a compatible satellite receiver to a tablet, smartphone or PC on your home network. Any of these devices can either display the channel on its screen or connect to a monitor via HDMI or cast. My Samsung Smart TV is able to view my STB directly via the streaming app.
Alternatively, a PCIe card in a computer can also receive and display on screen or connect to your TV via HDMI.