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Thomson Inks Deals with FOX Sports, Turner, DirecTV

Thomson recently announced several new equipment deals with major broadcasters including FOX Sports, Turner Broadcast and satellite operator DirecTV.

In the FOX Sports agreement, five new HD broadcast trucks being built by National Mobile Television, F&F Productions and NEP Supershooters will be equipped with more than $10 million worth of Grass Valley HD production equipment. The trucks, which will be outfitted with multiple Grass Valley LDK 6000 mk II WorldCam cameras, Kalypso HD Video Production switchers, Trinix large-scale video routing switchers, Concerto compact video routers and Kameleon Media modular products, have been contracted by FOX Sports for its HD coverage of the upcoming NFL season, including Super Bowl XXXIX.

The deal expands Thomson's business agreement as a non-exclusive preferred supplier to News Corp., parent company of FOX Sports.

Thomson is also supplying signal routing and distribution gear to Turner Broadcasting. The order includes upgrades to the latest Grass Valley routing switchers in CNN's plants in Atlanta and New York, expanding existing Grass Valley routing systems at Turner Entertainment Network (TEN), a new Trinix chassis for HD signal routing at Turner Studios and two large Trinix routers and four smaller Grass Valley systems for satellite feed reception and distribution at the TBS satellite teleport. In addition to signal routing, TBS has deployed a Grass Valley Kalypso HD Video Production Center switcher for an all-HD production truck designed for live multi-format production of sports and entertainment events.

Deployment of the Grass Valley systems at TBS is expected to be completed in time for the launch of TNT HD on May 17. Thomson says its installed technology at TBS includes one of the largest routing systems on the east coast, supporting CNN, Turner Studios and the TBS satellite teleport facility.

For the DirecTV deal, Thomson says its new contract to supply Grass Valley network technologies to allow the satellite operator to offer local channels to its viewers expands a similar agreement announced a year ago.

Last April, DirecTV announced its initial rollout of Grass Valley brand encoders, multiplexers and signal management products--including the ViBE MPEG-2 platform--for local into local coverage. The comprehensive agreement announced recently will expand the use of these products into additional markets.