Broadcasters look to virtual programming to exploit their content libraries

More than a third (36%) of broadcasters are failing to utilize their content library despite facing increasing competition from streaming services, according to research by ATEME.

Although almost all (98%) of the broadcasters surveyed use their content library to create new channels for particular events or occasions, the majority (82%) are impeded in the ability to do it quickly, unlike their streaming counterparts. 44% of broadcasters revealed it takes them up to three days to create a new channel, while over a third (38%) say it takes them up to a week, which not only hinders their ability to capitalize on events but could result in potential revenue loss.

“With a continuous influx of competition from all angles, broadcasters must begin to do more with their content libraries. Creating new, virtual channels would allow broadcasters to take advantage of topical and cultural events, such as award season, during which they could use their back catalogue to quickly develop one-off channels to celebrate winners as they are announced,” commented Remi Beaudouin, Chief Strategy Officer, ATEME.

As broadcasters explore ways to use technology to maximize their content, almost two-thirds (60%) of broadcasters are utilizing virtual broadcasting to create one-off channels, while of the broadcasters not currently doing virtual broadcasting 70% said they will do so within a year.

“For over half (52%) of broadcasters this ability to capitalize on unexpected or timely events without disrupting usual viewing schedules is seen as the biggest benefit of creating one-off channels. This approach also allows broadcasters to widen their appeal and cater to niche audiences with targeted or local content which 46% of broadcasters think virtual broadcasting would help them achieve,” said Beaudouin.

While currently very few broadcasters are able to create new channels quickly, the use of cloud technology, which 66% of broadcasters would consider moving to, could allow them to adopt a more proactive approach to creating virtual programming.

“Virtual broadcasting can be highly beneficial for broadcasters as it allows them to create tailored channels in just a few hours and use their catalogue to better effect. This will allow them to offer content that is different from that shown on their main channels and appeal to a wider audience,” added Beaudouin. “As traditional broadcasters continue to face opposition from streaming platforms, adopting virtual broadcasting is an ideal way to compete with their services as 50% of broadcasters see one of the biggest advantages of its use as the ability to offer a package other broadcasters currently aren’t. It will also enable them to cater to the increased variety the modern TV viewer has come to expect.”

Riedel’s Bolero Wireless Intercom on Stage at Sadler’s Wells Theatre

Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London has adopted Riedel’s Bolero wireless intercom to ensure reliable and flexible communications across the 10,000-square-meter building and the adjacent Lilian Baylis Studio. Located on London’s iconic Rosebery Avenue, the theatre is renowned as one of the world’s leading dance venues, staging contemporary dance and ballet performances in its 1,560-seat main auditorium. The theatre also has a unique link to Riedel’s home city of Wuppertal through an ongoing residency with the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, a partnership that spans more than 35 years.

As well providing a stage for visiting companies, the Sadler’s Wells Theatre is a producing house with a number of associated artists and companies creating original works for the theatre, and many locally produced shows are also recorded for cinema. Visiting OB trucks that are also equipped with Riedel Artist systems can easily interface with the theatre’s systems, creating smoothly integrated workflows and tremendous convenience.

Sadler_s-Wells-Main-Auditorium_Philip-Vile
Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London has adopted Riedel’s Bolero to ensure reliable and flexible comms across the 10,000-square-meter building and the adjacent Lilian Baylis Studio.

Bolero covers the spacious theatre with only four antennas. One is located at the side of the stage, with another in the auditorium and the third on the fly floor, which also covers all the dressing room corridors and backstage studios. The fourth antenna uses the IT department infrastructure and covers the cafeteria and the entire Lilian Baylis Studio. The setup also provides coverage for all basement areas including technical offices, dressing rooms, and the orchestra pit, and even provides full coverage in the Sadler’s Wells Studios — despite the studios’ separation from the antennas by several concrete walls.

Sadler_s-Wells-2

“The Sadler’s Wells team has taken full advantage of Bolero’s customizability and has fully tailored the system to the theatre’s needs,” said Nacho Lee, UK Sales Manager at Riedel Communications. “The team has made extensive use of Bolero’s profile function, giving each full-time member of staff a dedicated Bolero beltpack that has been set to a profile specific to that person’s requirements. In this way, parameters like volume, screen brightness, and quick menus are preset to the user’s liking.”

Mark Noble, Head of Sound at Sadler’s Wells, has designed highly creative workflows for Bolero using the theatre’s NSA-002A interface. In one example, the team has reassigned Bolero’s red reply button on stage managers’ beltpacks to open a channel to the paging system through the 4W-Interface. This enables stage managers to use the paging system to make backstage calls to all the dressing rooms and other backstage areas from wherever they are. With another profile, the reply button switches between brightness modes to allow the user to remain unseen onstage. The theatre’s NSA-002A sits on a comms network switch that is attached to Wi-Fi, making it easy to reconfigure on the go using a tablet.

Sadler_s-Wells-3

“People are amazed by Bolero’s battery life, coverage, and overall user friendliness — and the integrated bottle opener has also come in handy. This versatile system really has worked wonders for us,” said Noble. “With the newly released Bolero 2110 (AES67) mode, we will enjoy an even greater degree of flexibility and scalability, so it’s a great thing that the new license is already included in our stand-alone license. We were looking for truly future-proof equipment and have found it in Bolero.”

Pictures © Philip Vile.