UK partnership gives broadcasters global OTT delivery

UK satellite platform provider ViewSat is offering broadcasters a global OTT delivery platform for their content in partnership with London-based CDN (Content Delivery Network) vendor Vision247. The service seems aimed particularly at smaller or regional broadcasters seeking to serve expatriate or specific language audiences dispersed around the world. The service will take channels, uplink them to ViewSat’s satellite network, and transcode them for streaming over the Web for delivery via an embedded flash player to PCs, iOS or Android devices anywhere with a decent Internet connection, subject to rights in the territory. Vision247 takes care of the final streaming over the Web and transcoding to match the requirements of the end devices.

The partnership coincides with continued expansion of ViewSat’s satellite footprint, combined with Vision247’s acquisition of Perception, a scalable multiscreen IPTV platform incorporating cloud delivery, aimed at telcos and ISPs seeking rapid IPTV deployment. This technology could help provide the scalability if the new global OTT service takes off, because some kind of multicast facility will most likely be needed to handle large numbers of channels. Unicast delivery on a global scale of large numbers of channels would swamp the network, so there has to be some way of pruning back channels to serve just the users that are watching them.

ViewSat was launched in 2006 to serve just the fledgling Sub-Saharan African content delivery market, but has since expanded its satellite platform to cover Europe, the Middle East and North America as well. “Providing global Web streaming capability is an important step in the company’s continued growth, and Vision247 met all our demands for quality, reliability and consistent excellence in delivery,” said Awaes Jaswal, ViewSat CEO.

Vision247’s CEO John Mills added, “Streaming content via the Web is a fast-to-deploy and cost-effective method for delivering high-quality broadcast content. ViewSat has shown that satellite content delivery and Web streaming can work in perfect unison, giving immense choice and flexibility to customers seeking new ways to expand audiences and generate greater engagement with their content.”

A service along similar lines was launched by France Telecom subsidiary GlobeCast in April 2012, but covering just the U.S. at present with OTT content, aimed mainly at immigrant communities. Called MyGlobeTV, it added 14 French-African channels in June 2013 to serve the country’s immigrants from former French colonies in the continent. It also provides Asian, Australian and European content, with ultimate plans to expand coverage around the world in line with GlobeCast’s existing satellite distribution service called WorldTV.