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10/08/2018

Programme Segmentation – A Cut Above The Rest

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As all regular exhibitors at IBC know, the summer months are usually occupied answering the same question from the industry, year after year, namely: What are you bringing to this year's show that’s new?

Some manufacturers only bring a mock-up, hoping to test the market reaction, whilst others happily exhibit the real thing. Our focus for this article is a small but crucial element in VOD programming, specifically programme segmentation, which will be demonstrated this year in Hall 2 at the Provys booth.

Traditional linear TV programme segmentation comprises the content available for cutting (film, episode of a series, sport, show, documentary, concert, etc.), advertising, self-promotion, sponsorship messages, jingles, overlay advertisements, etc. The programme scheduling of these events is already a standard component of all modern broadcast management systems, sometimes referred to as broadcast traffic systems. As the picture shows, many contemporary broadcasters are now developing their operations into non-linear delivery, they have established parallel departments responsible for programming, and therefore, also segmentation, of their VOD playout. This has lead to inefficiencies arising from duplication of many of the operations. Broadcasters therefore turned to the software industry and requested a revision of the existing workflow management tools, flexible enough to deal with the new challenges arising from "free-to-air" VOD distribution.

Although many broadcasters still regard non-linear operations as a loss-making "must have", there are some examples that prove the financial success of these activities. A good one of these examples is TV 2 Norway's SUMO non-linear platform where they milk their content to maximum effect.

The non-linear programme segmentation is easier when the "pay-per-view" method is applied (no advertisement is then inserted) or even when the content is handed over to a third party for further distribution and monetisation. However, broadcasters using their own non-linear platforms can improve efficiencies whilst maximising revenues and keeping the content under their strict control. As an example of this, a programme scheduler working with the rights in a traditional linear environment can very simply extend the control of these rights to the non-linear operations, making the content available under the existing strict conditions for VOD colleagues without further duplication. The same principle applies to break-pattern selection, management and control. This newly revised planning system allows schedulers to quickly view a lo-res version of the content within their scheduling app in order to identify the most appropriate points for ad insertions.

Another important feature facilitates the "Auto Promo Booking" for self promotion or other insertions, as required, even in the absence of professional personnel. Imagine for a moment that such activities were initially undertaken by internet professionals operating with front-end software solutions. The benefits to the broadcasters are therefore clearly apparent including the harmonious integration of two previously disparate departments who now work together as one big happy family.

"To summarise, less staff can manage many more channels with fewer errors and more time available for creative tasks,” said Renata Chytkova, Senior Consultant at Provys. "We believe that every broadcaster has to cope with the pressure from the youth market who simply do not wish to watch TV from their parents' couches and we are expecting a lot of interest from colleagues at the upcoming IBC where we will be demonstrating our new developments in this field."

Author: Martin Junek, Provys

This article is also available in the August edition of Broadcast Film & Video. Available here.
Solidmate Ltd Memory Card Hire London

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