Consolidation of the MEDIAPRO Group – 2018 Results

The Group created new employment for 1,080 (701 in Spain) people joining the company with a total global workforce of 6,695 professionals.

Investment was in the region of €69 million

The MEDIAPRO Group reported its annual results for 2018 with revenues of €1.967 billion, a 20% increase over 2017, and with recurring EBITDA of €222 million (€190 million in 2017). Group investments amounted to €69 million with the Group’s net debt standing at €442 million at year-end. The Group closed several strategic rights agreements in 2018, including Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and the Canadian League. Content production also sustained considerable growth and the Group continues the consolidation of its eSports division expansion, while maintaining its position as a world leader in the provision of audiovisual services. Its team of professionals grew in 2018 to 6,695 (4,765 in Spain), creating 1,080 additional jobs (701 in Spain).

2019 Group’s objectives include continued organic and inorganic growth of all its divisions, the expansion of activities in Latin America, consolidation of its presence in Asia, strategic development of its digital area and bolstering content creation worldwide through THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, development of the domestic rights to the French league and breaking ground on its production activities in Canada. In 2019 the Group is also celebrating its 25th anniversary with a host of celebratory activities planned.

MEDIAPRO corporate activities are grouped into 4 business units:

Content Division

In recent years, MEDIAPRO Group’s content creation and production has taken a significant qualitative and quantitative leap. Through its production companies (Globomedia, 100 Balas, Big Bang, K 2000, Mediapro, Burman Office and Mediasur), the Group produces drama and entertainment (27 programs accounting for over 3,600 broadcast hours on the principal Spanish operators) for a diverse client portfolio (HBO, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, Movistar, FOX, Atresmedia, Directv, Mediaset Spain, BeIN SPORTS, Viacom, Disney, HITN, Nickelodeon, TVE, YLE, Sony, Flooxer, MGM, Vice, RCN, Canal Trece, HULU Japan, TF1, A + E Networks, RAI, SONY ESPN, lVP, Televisa, Univision, Artear, MEGA, Chile Vision, Playz, Globo Internacional, Turner, GOL, TNT and other regional channels).

In 2018, the content division, now grouped under THE MEDIAPRO STUDIO, delivered important projects such as “Vota Juan”, “Six Dreams”, “All or Nothing: Manchester City”, “Locked Up”, “I’m Alive” and TV dramas “Victim Nº 8”, “N00bees” and “Side Games”.  Movie projects include “My Masterpiece”, by Gaston Duprat and “4×4” by Mariano Cohn with shows like “El Intermedio”, “Zapeando”, “Ninja Warrior”, “El Conquistador del fin del mundo” and “La Báscula” in entertainment. Non-fiction feature films included “The State’s Secret Cesspit”, “Grietas”, “Special Case Nº 20907/2017″, “1-O” and “20-S”.

MEDIAPRO productions for Amazon “Six Dreams” and “All or Nothing: Manchester City” have been nominated for 5 Emmy Awards.

The incorporation of Carlos Herrero (Head of Entertainment at Globomedia) and Javier Olivares and Fernando González, represents substantial added value for the Group’s creative team.

The Exhibitions division developed projects including the new Atlético de Madrid museum; The Zone of Hope, the immersive virtual reality experience and design on climate change in Aigües de Barcelona; the Ciudad de Mexico Museum and the ceremony of the Day of the Dead in the Plaza del Zócalo (Mexico City).

Audiovisual Rights Division

The purchase of the rights for league competitions in France and Canada represents a huge impetus for the Group’s international activity in the area of ​​rights. The Group will exploit the rights of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 in France during a period of four seasons, from 2020-21 to 2023-24.

The Group was also awarded the rights to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the first World Cup ever held between November and December with forecasts of greater television consumption expected and MEDIAPRO will create a 24h channel to guarantee the best and most complete coverage. The agreement with FIFA also includes the awarding of the rights to the FIFA  Women’s World Cup 2019 taking place this summer (June-July) in France, in line with the Group’s strategic commitment to the promotion and development of women’s soccer and to ensure greater visibility for competitions. The Spanish team is in Group B along with Germany, China and South Africa.

The renewal of the contract with LaLiga for International rights to the competition, rounds off an excellent year in 2018 for the rights division.

Audiovisual Services Division

MEDIAPRO’s appointment as Host Broadcaster for the production of the Pan American Games and the Parapan Am Games (Lima 2019) consolidates the Group’s position as one of the leading audiovisual services providers in the world. Group professionals will provide services and the official signal for all the competitions from the 24 venues, in addition to the opening and closing ceremonies for television networks worldwide. The Pan-American Games are the largest international sporting event in which athletes from all over the Americas participate. 600 professionals, 16 Outside Broadcast Units and 300 tons of equipment will be deployed to cover almost 2,800 sporting events.

The Group was awarded the contract by the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) to run its production HUB for the next 4 years, producing the signal of 3 competitions and 263 matches.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, which took place in June 2018, was also an important milestone for the audiovisual services division. More than 300 professionals travelled to Russia with 10 4K OB Units to provide coverage for channels from 40 countries throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and North and South America.

From its offices in Morocco, Tunisia, Gabon, Angola and Kenya, MEDIAPRO Group’s professionals were responsible for the production of the principal sporting events held in the African continent, including highlights such as the Kenyan and Angolan league competitions, which are just two of the 16 national competitions produced by the MEDIAPRO Group with a production of up to 150 sporting events per day in Europe, Africa and Latin America.

MEDIAPRO also provides VAR services to league competitions in 14 countries, including Spain, Portugal, Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Chile, and the CAF and CONMEBOL competitions, with FIFA approval.

The audiovisual engineering division, with a team of 100 engineers and specialized technicians developed and delivered projects in 3 continents, highlights of which include the design, construction and operation of the France 24 channel in Spanish in Colombia and the installation of the clinical simulation laboratories at the Universitat de Barcelona Faculty of Medicine.

Digital & eSports Division

The Digital & eSports division was by far the area within the Group that underwent the most impressive growth in 2018 situating itself as a strategic business unit for the Group’s future. Significant international expansion, powered by the LVP (largest Spanish eSports competition in the world) with competitions in Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile and the United Kingdom, served as the premise for creating UBEAT (eSports content platform in Spanish). The Group’s strategy in this area also included the integration of The Breach Studios to design and launch video games.

The Group’s Innovation Division also underwent significant growth in the areas of virtual reality and artificial intelligence. In 2018, the division produced virtual reality content for football leagues in Spain and the United Arab Emirates.

Finally, the MEDIAPRO Group signed a 3-year collaboration agreement with the Barcelona-based SONAR Festival to explore 360º immersive content production.

International expansion

The Audiovisual Group, present in 36 countries, has opened 18 new offices in Serbia, Croatia, China, Canada, Peru and Egypt, reaching a total of 58 delegations. The incorporation of Orient Hontai into the Group’s shareholding structure is enabling expansion throughout Southeast Asian, with the opening of delegations in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. 2018 was also the year of the Group’s expansion into Eastern Europe, with the integration of VPK, the largest independent television production company in Slovenia. Based in Ljubljana, VPK PRO specializes in the production and transmission of events as well as the creation of television programs with offices in Serbia (Belgrade) and Croatia (Zagreb). In South America, activity in Mexico was also subject to great growth with the incorporation of COMTEC, one of Mexico’s leading audiovisual services production companies.

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Media Prima Berhad boosts social and digital video with Grabyo

Media Prima Berhad (“Media Prima” or the “Group”) has partnered with Grabyo to enhance its social video strategy and bolster its dominance in Malaysia’s digital content market.

Ranked as Malaysia’s number one choice for mobile content ahead of Google and Facebook, Media Prima delivers content across a variety of free-to-air TV and radio channels, print publications and digital content platforms nationwide.

Grabyo’s leading cloud video platform will now enable Media Prima to expand and innovate its live and ‘real-time’ social video strategy around its popular TV channels TV3, 8TV, ntv7 and TV9.

Video clips delivered in real-time achieve the most engagement of any type of social media content. Grabyo’s rapid clipping, video editing and production tools will enable Media Prima to be first to market with content, positioning its social channels as the ‘go-to’ destinations for breaking news, lifestyle and entertainment videos.

This strategy will enrich viewer experiences by offering supplementary content that sits alongside its broadcast programming, strengthening its growth trajectory across digital media and supporting tune-in for traditional media channels.

Datuk Kamal bin Khalid, Group Managing Director, Media Prima Berhad commented: “Our focus at Media Prima has always been to serve our audiences with the content they want to see, on the platforms they choose. We have seen successful growth in mobile and digital media and it’s important as a Group that we continue to innovate in these areas. Grabyo provides the most powerful solution to enhance our workflows and this new partnership is part of a wider strategy to deliver quality content across digital and social media platforms to the right people at the right time.”

 

Elliot Renton, Senior Director & Head of APAC at Grabyo, added: “We are excited about this long-term partnership with Media Prima. As a group, they have embraced a robust digital transformation strategy with social media and mobile at the heart of future growth. The teams are doing fantastic work in both linear broadcast and digital media with a real focus on producing innovative content for audiences of all age groups. Grabyo is ideally positioned to help power this consumer-centric, content-focused approach to digital distribution and we look forward to seeing the results from this partnership.”

Grabyo’s integrated browser-based tools will enable the media group to clip, edit and publish videos from TV channels directly to social media in seconds; combined with a powerful new live video offering using Grabyo’s advanced live streaming platform.

 

MX1 and Minerva Networks Power Next-Generation OTT TV Services

MX1 announced a partnership with Minerva Networks, a leading online video platform (OVP) provider, to offer turnkey, subscription-based and ad-funded over-the-top (OTT) video services. The integration of Minerva’s market leading platform with MX1’s proven content management services and global delivery infrastructure will enable media companies, broadcasters, mobile service providers, ISPs, and pay TV operators worldwide to launch robust, flexible, and scalable OTT video services quickly and cost effectively.

“In partnership with MX1, we are redefining the way large-scale OTT video services can be efficiently created, launched, and operated,” said Mauro Bonomi, CEO of Minerva Networks. “The combination of our management platform with MX1’s proven media processing services and delivery infrastructure provides a comprehensive solution for the delivery of engaging entertainment experiences on a variety of connected devices.”

Minerva’s OVP supports a broad set of video services including live TV, video-on-demand, personal video recording, catch-up TV, pause of live TV, and restart TV. Minerva’s platform also provides a rich set of analytics data that enable operators to optimize their video services in order to increase user engagement and retention. MX1 will manage all aspects of the OTT content workflow and service delivery, including operations and 24/7 monitoring.

“Consumers are looking for compelling services that allow them to enjoy a variety of live, time-shifted, and on-demand video content anywhere and on any screen. In partnership with Minerva, we have assembled a best-of-breed turnkey solution for operators to quickly and cost-effectively deploy next-generation multiscreen services,” said Daniel Kiessling, senior product manager at MX1. “Our global OTT TV Cloud Service will enable broadcasters, media companies, and operators worldwide to better monetize their content.”

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Just Add Power Adds Training to Spring 2019 Schedule

Due to high demand, Just Add Power (J+P) announced the addition of three new Level 1 System Design & Configuration training sessions to its spring 2019 schedule. Taking place May 15-17, May 29-31, and June 26-28 at the company’s Largo, Florida headquarters, the course is designed to provide attendees with an introduction to J+P, HDMI over IP, and basic networking, while offering a hands-on experience setting up a system from beginning to end.

“To provide attendees with the best training experience possible, we have always kept our class sizes small — an approach that has earned us a lot of positive feedback,” said Eric Martin, education director at Just Add Power. “However, at the rate that residential and commercial installers are switching to Just Add Power from legacy HDMI matrix solutions, it has also meant a pronounced shortage of spaces in our spring schedule. We are thrilled to have this problem. And since we won’t compromise on the quality of our training, the only solution is to open our doors for more classes.”

J+P’s Level 1 System Design & Configuration course combines the skills of the company’s knowledgeable staff with a relaxed, bespoke, and integrator-centered experience. Led by Martin, the three-day training session stays true to the evolutionary product philosophy of the company, covering the entire chain of use, including product tutorials, system design, installation scenarios, and troubleshooting. Holding the sessions at J+P’s headquarters allows integrators to enjoy a beautiful Florida beachside setting, as well as access to the expert staff at all levels of the company, including CEO and founder Ed Qualls. Dinners with the J+P team let attendees witness first-hand the culture of the company — valuing a deep product knowledge, teamwork, collaboration, and making the job fun.

To register for one of the newly added Level 1 System Design & Configuration training sessions, please visit http://www.bit.ly/HDIPspring2019. Space is limited and expected to fill quickly, so reserve your spot now.

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SMPTE Reimagines Annual Technical Conference

SMPTE® announced that the SMPTE 2019 Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition (SMPTE 2019) has been reimagined with a fresh style, focus, layout, program schedule, logo, and website. The Society’s flagship event, SMPTE 2019, will run Oct. 21-24 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in downtown Los Angeles.

“We’ve updated and restructured our annual conference at every level so that it’s easy and enjoyable to discover, engage, and excel,” said SMPTE Executive Director Barbara Lange. “We’re bringing the conference and exhibition elements together to create a richer and more interactive atmosphere for attendees. In addition to making the educational experiences more engaging, we’ll be hosting various networking and social events throughout the conference.”

SMPTE’s flagship annual event is the world’s premier forum for the exploration of media and entertainment technology. Full conference registration for SMPTE 2019 will include the keynote presentation, entry to the exhibition and to all conference sessions, a rooftop lunch each day of attendance, and an opening night party.

SMPTE 2019 will provide access to the latest technology and offer top-quality education and professional development opportunities to help attendees increase their personal and professional value within the media and entertainment industry. The event is known for attracting the industry’s innovators — both creative and technical — and its business leaders, and this year’s event will provide attendees with a more intimate atmosphere for meeting and exchanging ideas.

SMPTE 2019 offers a more focused combination of submitted and programmed content to address the needs and interests of both experienced creatives and technologists as well as early career professionals. On the first day of the show, the latter group can leverage tutorials that will lead to in-depth sessions later in the week. Through a series of brief presentations, the industry’s most thought-provoking thinkers and doers will share their insights and anecdotes on motion-imaging technology and future directions in a non-commercial setting.

The exhibits and special events will create an enhanced experience for attendees, providing them with opportunities for networking and face-to-face meetings with industry experts.

Extended lunch breaks each day will take place on the iconic hotel’s spectacular rooftop venue. Attendees looking for more sunshine and fresh air can take part in the second annual 4K 4Charity Fun Run. Pop-up happy-hours and featured exhibits in the conference foyer will allow for impromptu gatherings.

“As always, SMPTE technical conference sessions will address timely, forward-looking topics like no other event in the industry does,” said SMPTE Education Vice President Sara Kudrle, who is also product marketing manager at Imagine Communications. “From the fundamental elements of cinema and broadcast workflows to the latest in immersive experiences, SMPTE 2019 will offer expert insights on the technologies driving the future of storytelling.”

Tickets for many SMPTE 2019 events are limited, and early registration is encouraged. Early-bird registration pricing is available now through July 27. Attendees also can save by booking SMPTE group room rate at the Westin Bonaventure, where a limited block of reduced-rate rooms will be available through Sept. 27, or while rooms remain available.

Prospective exhibitors can find information regarding booth selection at https://2019.smpte.org/home/exhibits. Sponsorship information is available at https://2019.smpte.org/home/sponsorship.

SMPTE is seeking technical manuscript proposals for SMPTE 2019. Abstracts are due by May 3. Authors of manuscript proposals selected by the SMPTE 2019 program committee will have the opportunity to present at the event and network with the industry’s most esteemed technology thought leaders and engineering executives during the world’s premier forum for the exploration of media and entertainment technology. Following SMPTE 2019, accepted manuscripts will be published to the SMPTE digital library, hosted on the IEEE Xplore platform, and video of each paper presentation will be posted on the Society’s YouTube channel, Submitted manuscripts will also go through peer review for possible publication in the award-winning SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. Program sessions will address advancements in current technology, plus future-looking developments in media technology, content creation, image and sound, and the allied arts and sciences.

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MX1 and Nowtilus Team Up to Empower Personalized and Ad-Funded TV

MX1 announced a partnership with Nowtilus, a leading provider of ad delivery for targeted dynamic in-stream ad insertion. By working together, the companies are combining Nowtilus’ innovative server-side ad insertion (SSAI) solution with MX1’s global media services for broadcasters, TV networks, and OTT service providers. This will create an end-to-end solution bringing personalized TV and targeted advertising services to the big screens and mobile devices in broadcast-grade quality. The targeted and dynamic ad insertion solution will enable service providers to increase ad revenues with their live TV and VOD content.

“By partnering with MX1 we are transforming the way that broadcasters and video streaming platforms deliver personalised video and advertising, making this process infinitely more efficient and creating additional value for their content,” said Patrick Knippel, managing director at Nowtilus. “The combination of our cloud-native, server-side ad insertion technology and MX1’s proven services for content aggregation, management, playout, online video, and distribution provides a complete solution for a personalised TV with up to 4K clarity.”

Nowtilus’ SSAI solution manages the ad insertion process dynamically, allowing a bufferless transition between the video content and ad in a streaming environment. With MX1’s expertise in managing all aspects of 4K and OTT workflows, including monitoring and providing 24/7 support, TV channels can easily deliver personalised broadcast television experiences across all devices.

“The television experience is becoming more personal, and this partnership with Nowtilus sets a new standard for efficient delivery of targeted ads and content,” said Daniel Kiessling, senior product manager at MX1. “By integrating our world-class media services with Nowtilus’ SSAI solution, we’re ushering in a new video streaming experience that enables service providers to achieve a higher return on ad revenues.”

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VITEC Launches Industry’s Highest Density HEVC IPTV Encoder

VITEC announced the new MGES-7000 4K/UHD/HD HEVC and H.264 eight-input IPTV encoding blade in booth SL6005 at the 2019 NAB Show. Setting a new benchmark in processing density, the MGES-7000 offers real-time hardware encoding of four 4Kp60 or eight 3G/HD/SD input ports for live sources of SDI, HDMI, or IP (SMPTE ST 2110) video with advanced features such as secondary channel, integrated resolution and frame-rate scaling, AES 256/128-bit encryption, and low latency mode.

“The streaming landscape has become incredibly diverse, which demands powerful, high-input solutions with the agility to support multiple channels of both HEVC and H.264 with broadcast quality and ultra-low latency across any network infrastructure,” said David Ben-Atar, Product Manager, Streaming and Delivery Products, VITEC. “The MGES-7000 is the first encoding solution with the input availability to fully support these applications.”

Featuring the highest density available on the market, the MGES-7000 4K/UHD/HD HEVC and H.264 IPTV encoding blade is the industry’s premier encoder for input flexibility. With the increased density of blade-server configurations, it is an ideal multichannel blade encoder for a variety of applications — including in-house broadcast; real-time high-quality sport events; low-delay encrypted FMV distribution — and any installation with high-quality, low-latency IPTV distribution demands or that require support for legacy H.264 players as well as new, cutting-edge 4K HEVC end-points. In addition, it is a future-proof encoder solution that meets the current IPTV demands of H.264 and HD encoding while its advanced capabilities of HEVC, 4K\UHD, and HDR allows for technological growth and supports market trends.

VITEC_MGES-7000
The new MGES-7000 4K/UHD/HD HEVC and H.264 eight-input IPTV encoding blade from VITEC.

Using hardware-based encoding chips supporting 4:2:2/4:2:0 10-bit and 8-bit H.264 and HEVC codecs, it can support any application demand while providing benefits such as support for secondary video streams up to 1080p60 for each input. All streams can be managed with an easily configured web UI. When coupled with VITEC’s Media Gateway MGW family of carrier-grade IPTV platforms, IPTV providers can serve up to 208 IPTV streams from the MGW 5100 (10RU), up to 96 IPTV streams from the MGW 1100 (4RU), and up to 16 IPTV streams from the MGW 1000 (1RU). VITEC’s Smoothing™ algorithm guarantees low jitter for flawless IP over any LAN or WAN network. In addition, it is fully supported by the VITEC Cluster Manager (CM) System, which provides global system monitoring and control, as well as automated N+K redundancy to ensure high availability operation for even the most critical use cases.

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