Corus Entertainment is one of Canada’s largest media and content companies with assets in radio, television and online. The broadcast television side of the company is a mix of over-the-air broadcast stations and specialty cable channels. Like all media organizations, it is observing dramatic shifts in audience viewing habits and in the way advertising dollars are being designated. Corus is responding proactively to address the changing media marketplace, developing innovative technology and content solutions. It is a pioneer in Canada, creating consolidated news production facilities, building a national infrastructure with sophisticated content sharing capabilities and extending their various brands across multiple platforms. Corus also broke new ground in leveraging live data; both as a content source and as a driver of video and content to new platforms. Early on, Corus saw the value that data had as an editorial source that could be extended over its many media properties and as a powerful tool to strategically distribute content.
Data empowers Corus to accomplish two essential things: add significant editorial value to its multiple media properties and secondly, open new market opportunities driving untapped ad revenue. To meet these objectives and take full advantage of their data and content, Corus’ Global News division turned to Bannister Lake, a leading provider of professional video graphic display solutions for broadcast.
In working with Corus, Bannister Lake focused on three essential data-rich areas: elections, information tickers and creating new media products and services. Across Global News’ broadcast operations, Bannister Lake’s Elector election race software is being used to produce municipal, provincial and federal coverage. Elector allows editorial staff to quickly and effectively filter race results, identify important trends, make race calls and in turn populate and display dynamic election graphics on-air or online.
“Elector has become our go-to software solution for all our election coverage. It works great on municipal, provincial and federal races. Both our editorial and technical staff love its ease of use and quick implementation,” says Gerry Belec, director of news technology and operations at Corus Entertainment.
Across Global News, Bannister Lake powers L-Bars, tickers, and sponsor logos on all the local morning news programs. The key tool Global News uses to make all this possible is Bannister Lake’s Chameleon software. Chameleon provides Global News with a single data/graphics management solution that drives a wide variety of graphic playout devices across the entire Global News organization. By centralizing data through Chameleon, Corus not only realizes operational efficiencies, but also permits broadcast sales to create new media products and sell both national and local sponsorships on all its broadcast tickers. Editorially, Chameleon enables Global News to integrate the widest possible variety of data sources on-air, including social media feeds, financial data, sports scores, closings and atypical feeds such as community events calendars.
Corus foresees Chameleon playing an expanded and valuable role as the media company develops and launches multi-platform solutions, expands online, distributes more content via partnerships and explores innovative media opportunities.
Global News takes advantage of BLADE, Chameleon’s RESTful API feature, allowing them to manage and distribute specific portions of a data feed. With BLADE, Global News can effortlessly direct their content to various output channels including thousands of screens across digital signage networks in multiple cities across Canada. This has fostered new revenue and promotional opportunities for Corus and has dramatically improved brand recognition. BLADE allows Global News to target specific end points strategically with content designated for that output.
Corus and Global News further benefit from Bannister Lake’s development strategy that emphasizes multi-user, web-based solutions while still maintaining high levels of security. Teams from across the country can simultaneously access the solution, load content, query data and create and edit playlists, but only according to their user status. Should unusual operational issues emerge, Bannister Lake’s development team can write custom code resolving the issue.
“We look forward to a long and creative partnership with Corus. We are thrilled that our software and custom services can be plugged into so many aspects of their business”, says Georg Hentsch, Bannister Lake’s founder.