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Ericsson signs content delivery agreement with SBS

SBS is digitising its processes through a deal that will see Ericsson provide aggregation, organisation, quality control, and delivery of media assets from across the globe.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Networking giant Ericsson has announced reaching an exclusive content delivery agreement with Australia's Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) that will see it gather, organise, and deliver media assets in a ready-for-transmission format for the broadcasting company.

Ericsson, which also provides live and file-based captions for SBS under a multi-year deal signed earlier this year, will aggregate media from content owners and distributors across the globe, and deliver the assets from its media hub in London to SBS' Sydney headquarters.

Under the deal, Ericsson will also provide quality control of content and deliver full technical metadata according to SBS' individual editorial and technical requirements.

"We have designed our media management services to help our clients to streamline their operations," Ericsson head of Broadcast and Media Services Thorsten Sauer said.

"Flexibility, combined with leading-edge technology and efficient workflows, allows us to create a cost-effective solution tailored to each client."

The arrangement with Ericsson marks SBS' decision to digitise its content-delivery process, the broadcasting company said.

"This is a fantastic milestone for SBS' Acquired Content Delivery and Technology teams -- transitioning from a manual delivery process to a digitised process when receiving international content," said SBS CTO Noel Leslie.

"It gives us a more streamlined and efficient way to aggregate programs for our audience who enjoy watching global content."

Ericsson provides broadcast and media services for companies worldwide, including BBC, Fox, DreamWorks, Sky HBO, and BT Sport, distributing more than 2.7 million hours of programming every year.

The networking company in September announced that it would be focusing on the media industry via its 5G partnership with Intel in order to aid broadcasters with the challenge of producing and delivering content to an on-demand audience across a variety of platforms.

Intel and Ericsson said they would be pooling their resources to begin addressing challenges with content creation and delivery.

"The goal is to accelerate opportunities for media companies through Ericsson's leadership in video processing, mobility, and cloud infrastructure, alongside Intel's advancements in compute, storage, and networking technologies," Ericsson vice president and head of TV and Media Elisabetta Romano said in a blog post with Intel general manager of Visual Cloud Jim Blakley.

Blakley told ZDNet that one of the challenges about media now is the "capacity and size of video data".

"That [data] needs to be stored and moved around in datacentres, and [we] need to be able to deliver that content to end users without too many delays ... particularly in cases of live streaming, when you have to deliver content globally around the world in virtually real time," Blakley told ZDNet.

Ericsson acquired software-based video processing and content delivery solutions company Envivio in 2015.

There has been a worldwide move to digitise content delivery; in September, Australian telecommunications company Telstra announced its system for broadcasters to deliver both live and file-based media content worldwide with its Global Media Network, utilising its network resources and infrastructure.

Telstra Global Media Network -- which relies on the telecommunications provider's global submarine fibre cable network, four teleports, 40 satellites, and broadcast operations in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the United States -- will launch internationally in early 2017.

Trevor Boal, head of Telstra Broadcast Services, said the offering was designed in response to the increasing popularity of video-streaming services.

"The rapid growth of video-on-demand consumption, particularly in Asia, has triggered a surge in demand for content ... the Telstra Global Media Network was built to empower our customers to swiftly and smartly grasp the incredible opportunity at hand with the rise of demand for content," Boal said at the time.

"With the Telstra Global Media Network, customers can easily book services online and choose the level of support they need, from self-service to dedicated 24/7 monitoring provided by our dedicated Broadcast Operations Centres in Sydney and master control rooms in Hong Kong, London, New York, and Los Angeles."

Telstra recently showcased its fully operational Broadcast Operations Centre (BOC) in Sydney, which manages over 400 video, audio, and data services. It provides broadcasters with content-transfer solutions via its fibre, satellite, and internet protocol (IP) networks as part of the Telstra Broadcast Services (TBS) business.

"We are very, very strong in the operational technology; we're working very closely with broadcasters around delivery of content, and one of our flagship offerings is our digital video network," Boal said at the time.

"Most of the broadcasters and content owners in Australia are our customers. There's a very vast and expanding network connecting studios, production facilities, and increasingly now venues, so for example taking sporting content, or stadium content, back to production facilities, studio facilities, for broadcast."

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