According to David Burke VP, CIO, Raycom Media, the move is helping the group’s news-producing stations meet the expectations of viewers when it comes to news and deal with the growing expense of programming alternatives.
"In recent years, our local stations have expanded the number of hours of locally produced content, in part because of the rising cost of syndicated content, as well as to meet viewer preferences,” said Burke. “Local news is a significant part of our programming schedule and revenue stream. With LiveU, we can originate and produce more live and original content."
The LiveU deployment includes a combination of hardware, including the LU70 backpacks, as well as the LU-Smart app for phones and LU-Lite software for laptops.
Major criteria used in selecting LiveU included signal stability and quality, support, usability in the field and studio as well as latency, said Burke.
"Some of the key differentiation points included LiveU's proprietary antenna arrays that we found offered more consistency in tough areas; the company's devices are well-built and easy to carry, and the cellular modems are encased and protected inside,” he said. “The ability to control units from the field or remotely was also a big plus.”
Originally, Raycom Media’s 2013 budget called for deploying LiveU units in fewer than half of its 30 news-producing markets, said Burke. “However, LiveU was so well-received by these initial stations, we decided to expand to all of our news-producing markets in 2013.”
Burke added that standardizing company-wide on LiveU, is allowing Raycom Media stations to get out-of-market stories and share content among its stations.