Antenna Entertainment Taps Imagine Communications for Cloud Managed Services

Costas Colombus, CTO of Antenna Group
Costas Colombus, CTO of Antenna Group (Image credit: Imagine Communications)

THAMES DITTON, England—Imagine Communications has announced that it recently helped one of Europe’s largest media companies, the Antenna Group, quickly move 22 pay TV channels and two streaming services with more than 24 million subscribers in 12 territories to Imagine's Landmark Rights and Scheduling software as a managed service.  

The new system, which operates as Software as a Service (SaaS) within the dedicated Imagine cloud, has enabled Antenna to streamline workflows and operations and maximize return on investment by moving to an OpEx model.

Antenna had to make the move on a tight deadline after acquiring the networks and services from Sony, the companies said.  

In Hungary, headquarters of Antenna Entertainment, a previous version of the Landmark system was in use, and the decision was made to integrate the operations into a single, modernized platform. 

“Managing rights and scheduling across multiple linear and digital platforms, in multiple territories, is a complex business,” said Costas Colombus, CTO of Antenna Group. “We had to take on a very large library of new content from the acquisition, alongside our existing rights holdings, and get our operations up to speed immediately. Imagine gave us complete confidence in the database rapid migration, as well as the advantages of using Landmark as a SaaS that were commercially compelling.”

The commercial terms of the acquisition left a very short window for the operations to be transferred, and specialists from Imagine and local distributor Amy DV in Athens quickly began work to help Antenna meet their deadline. The entire implementation — including creation of SaaS instances, the migration of on-premises databases from both operations into the Imagine cloud, and training of the team — was achieved in less than 12 weeks. 

Mathias Eckert, senior vice president and general manager of EMEA and APAC at Imagine Communications, added that “Media enterprises today want to concentrate on their core business of making, managing and monetizing content. Operating the core technology as a SaaS makes it very fast to implement ― as the Antenna project shows ― with all the maintenance and support carried out for the business by our cloud facilities. Antenna never has to worry about software updates or the routine maintenance and replacement of servers. The result is a highly functional system which is precisely tailored to their needs, and with a significantly reduced total cost of ownership.”

​Landmark Rights & Scheduling enables rights management and scheduling for premium-quality live, streaming and on-demand channels and content. Its comprehensive scheduling engine provides the tools to create single or multichannel schedules — combining program content and advertisements into a single, frame-accurate playlist. This allows media companies to get the most from their programming assets with the optimal schedule to reach target audiences and maximize profits., Imagine said. 

“We carefully analyzed Antenna’s business processes before determining that Landmark was the right product for the evolution of their workflow,” said David Chalkidis, manager at Amy DV. “Migrating to a next-generation version of software that their operators were already familiar with enabled Antenna to streamline this significant transition and prepare for a converged linear and digital future.”

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George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.