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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Jan 11

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1/11/2011 7:34 PM  RssIcon

For Legacy Users of the Company's Integrated Broadcast Management System, New Version Provides Foundation for Future Service Enhancements and Company Growth

LONDON -- Jan. 11, 2011 -- Pilat Media Global plc [AIM: PGB], the leading supplier of business management software to the media industry, today announced that SKY New Zealand has completed a successful migration to version 6 of the company's Integrated Broadcast Management System (IBMS). Through seamless links to automation, media asset management (MAM), and online media systems, the IBMS upgrade will provide a platform for SKY to deploy numerous projects supporting enhanced service offerings and future expansion.

SKY is a direct-to-home satellite broadcaster providing more than 110 pay-TV channels with market penetration of more than 47-percent of New Zealand viewers. IBMS has controlled and managed programming and broadcast schedules for SKY since 1999, making the broadcaster one of Pilat Media's oldest customers.

"As longtime customers of Pilat Media, we rely heavily on IBMS to automate and coordinate all of our content acquisition, planning, scheduling, and playout processes -- and the system has grown with us over the years as we have taken on increasingly complex workflows. Migrating to version 6 was the next logical step to meet our new business challenges," said Brian Sims, Technology Delivery Manager, Media and Customer at SKY. "Since this was our first IBMS upgrade in a few years and the system will lay the foundation for numerous mission-critical applications, the project was understandably complex -- but it was a huge success thanks to the professionalism and expertise of both the Pilat Media and SKY project teams."

With the migration to IBMS version 6, SKY is leveraging advanced key features to implement significant new functionality at the broadcaster's digital network operations center in Auckland. For instance, IBMS version 6's on-demand planning functionality will drive scheduling for SKY's online media player, iSKY, which will power SKY's Web TV offerings. The on-demand planner will integrate with content acquisitions under control of IBMS to manage scheduling of non-linear playout according to rights agreements for each asset. In addition, SKY will rely on the .NET-based capabilities of IBMS version 6 to provide seamless content exchange with its upcoming media asset management (MAM) system.

"We have had the pleasure of helping SKY New Zealand grow its operations significantly over the past 11 years based on our industry-leading business management platform -- and we're pleased that version 6 will play such an important role in shaping the company's future service offerings," said Tuval Lava , COO of Pilat Media. "Like many of our customers, SKY is taking advantage of the component architecture, user interface improvements via the .NET framework, and increased technical flexibility and integration points that version 6 provides."

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About SKY SKY Television is New Zealand's pre-eminent pay television operator, offering a wide range of sports, movies, music, on-demand, and general content across more than 110 channels. SKY's channel line-up includes eight sports channels, six movie channels, seven general entertainment channels, six documentary channels, five news channels, four children's channels, as well as other niche and special interest channels. (As of June 30, 2010, SKY had 802,400 subscribers).

SKY launched as a three-channel UHF service in 1990, with two further channels added four years later. SKY's UHF signal reached more than 83-percent of the country's 1.5 million households. In December 1998 SKY launched a digital satellite service, extending its reach to the whole country. More than 47 percent of New Zealand homes subscribe to SKY. The analog UHF service closed down on March 10, 2010.

SKY also offers pay-per-view movies, live events, and interactive services including Skybet, the Weather Channel, and games channels Mind Games and PlayinTV and is also the cornerstone shareholder in Fatso, New Zealand's premier on line DVD rental service.

In July 2008 SKY launched MY SKY HDi, a new high-definition decoder and PVR with Dolby Digital surround sound, IPTV capability, and increased storage. SKY currently offers seven MPEG 4 high-definition television channels (SKY Sport 1 and 2, SKY Movies and SKY Movies Greats, TV3 HD, TVONE HD, and TV2 HD) to subscribers.

On Feb. 8, 2006, SKY completed the purchase of the New Zealand television business of PRIME Television Ltd. The acquisition of a free-to-air channel gives SKY the opportunity to showcase its channels and programs while ensuring that New Zealand consumers can view delayed free-to-air sports programs such as rugby, rugby league, and cricket in primetime. For further information, please visit the website at www.sky.co.nz.

About Pilat Media Pilat Media Global plc [AIM: PGB] develops, markets, and supports business management software solutions for content and service providers in the media industry. Designed with the direct involvement of top-tier broadcasters, Pilat Media's systems improve business performance, accelerate time to market and enable diversification and growth of content programming, advertising sales, traffic, and media operations for multiplatform linear and on-demand services. More than 50 blue-chip media companies around the world use Pilat Media solutions, including FOX, CTV, CBS, Discovery, SABC, Chellomedia, the BBC, Media General, Sky Italia, ESPN Star Sports, Network Ten, TVNZ, Southern Cross, and Foxtel. These and other deployments represent the management of billions of dollars in advertising revenue and programming that reaches hundreds of millions of viewers. More information is available at www.pilatmedia.com.

ENDS

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