Saturday 12, the round of press conferences kicked off. The first sessions made many mentions of file-based workflows. Nothing new here, but what the IT infrastructure does enable is outsourcing of "broadcast" functions like asset management, content distribution and multi-format delivery to enterprise service providers.
This got me to thinking, what is a broadcaster, and what do they do? If they do outsource many of their traditional operations from newsgathering to playout, then what is left? In playout, the word is branding, specifically channel branding. But following this through, the television network now becomes a brand, not a broadcaster, with the in-house functions left as program commissioning and scheduling, plus the revenue provider, the sales arm.
Brands dominate so many other sectors; it was inevitable in the quest for efficiencies and conglomeration that broadcasters would become brands. So what of the engineering, well that just goes to the service providers rather than the broadcasters.
I can see that some folks are going to find it difficult to adjust to this, but as was said in one of the press conferences, programming is global. No longer does a nation make programs solely for national consumption. The Hollywood studios have long thrived on global marketing of their wares; television is having to adopt the same models to survive. The larger the market and the number of platforms supported (mobile, web etc), the greater the potential return.
As Saturday’s press conferences proclaimed, their provision of software products for standard platforms, and high performance WAN solutions frees video from the geographical and economic constraints that once limited global entertainment businesses from truly capitalizing the value of their assets, the programs.
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