Philippine broadcaster, IBM sign digital content deal

Country's largest broadcasting company ABS-CBN inks multimillion-dollar deal to build a multimedia platform that will digitize and archive all of its content.

PHILIPPINES--Technology giant IBM has secured a multimillion-peso deal to provide digital content and data storage applications to ABS-CBN, the largest broadcasting company in the Philippines.

Under the agreement, both companies will collaborate on a platform to "digitize all of its content, resulting to an enhanced media content creation and management...to benefit Filipino media consumers worldwide", IBM and ABS-CBN said in a statement.

Financial details of the deal remained under wraps, but various news reports said ABS-CBN is pouring in US$4 million for the data storage component alone.

The IBM data storage products will be integrated into the media asset management system (MAMS) that the IT vendor will also provide.

According to Big Blue, the MAMS will allow the broadcast giant to create new services such as additional channels, Web portals and mobile downloads, "while reducing substantial costs in archiving and storage and attaining a more efficient post-production process".

ABS-CBN is expected to grow its data to about 36 percent, further requiring a new application to handle the volume of data.

Raul Bulaong, the broadcaster's head of technical operations division, said: "Technology brings drivers of change that call for significant challenge, and change in the global media industry. New [platform] such as YouTube, iPod and mobile TV, among others, now compete with traditional media companies," said.

"Today's vast technology consists of multiple forms of digitized content, increasing volume of user-generated content, and thus, enabling both supplier and buyer power to shift to new forms whether in the Internet, mobile or social networks," Bulaong said. "That is why we have embarked on this project with partners like IBM."

The MAMS is tasked to aid ABS-CBN in its multimedia lifecycle management and workflow productivity enhancements, IBM said.

"We are glad to be part of their transformation, accelerating the migration from analog to digital production environments," said James Velasquez, country general manager for IBM Philippines. "We support this bold and pioneering step that ABS-CBN is taking to take advantage of the full benefits of an IT approach based on open standards, supported by industrial strength scalability."

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.