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Channel 4 awards outsourcing deal to Red Bee

UK broadcaster Channel 4 has inked an outsourcing deal with Red Bee Media. As a result, broadcast and production services currently carried out in-house and by its 124 Facilities division undertaken by Red Bee.

Red Bee Media was selected following a competitive tender process and it is expected that outsourcing these services will deliver annual savings in the region of between 10 and 15 percent. Red Bee Media will also make a significant capital investment in new state-of-the-art facilities in White City.

"Outsourcing these functions to Red Bee Media will keep us competitive as digital technology transforms broadcasting. We're certain Red Bee Media is the best partner for Channel 4, because of their specialist skills and resources and because they offer the best prospects of secure employment for the maximum number of staff, whose existing terms and conditions will transfer with them," said Channel 4's Group Finance Director, Anne Bulford.

Red Bee will be responsible for Ingest, storage and archive of material; creation of programme clips; legacy video tape format transfers; QC and editing of standard definition and high definition content at the 124 Facility in Channel 4's offices in Horseferry Road as well as technical support; and Disaster Recovery.

The agreement between the two companies affects more than 100 staff and encompasses the channel's broadcast engineering and transmission teams, as well as post production, library services and on-air graphics. Staff working in the affected areas will transfer to White City in the next 12 months, however post production and on-air graphics staff will remain at C4's Horseferry Road site, but be in Red Bee Media's employment.

Red Bee will provide playout for all six commercial regions served by Channel 4 (via analogue, satellite and Freeview), as well as: Channel 4 +1; E4; E4 +1; More4; More4 +1; Film4; Film4 +1; Channel 4's new HD service; Playout and transcoding C4 streams for 4OD; Video on demand to 4OD, Virgin Media cable platform, BT and Tiscali; and Mobile streams to Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile.