The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation (AWMF) is extending the deadline to submit entries for the 46th Annual Gracie Awards at the regular rate.
The new deadline date for the regular rate is January 21.
But, AWMF is also offering “a further extended deadline” of January 28, although this will come at an additional cost.
The Gracie Awards, presented by the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation, celebrate programming and individual achievement by, for and about women in television, radio and digital media. Submissions from all facets of media are encouraged.
A SALUTE TO FIELD REPORTERS
Journalists have continued to work tirelessly on the front lines to provide coverage of the unprecedented events in the first two weeks of 2021, AWMF says.
“Due to the bravery of these storytellers and the timeliness of this important coverage, AWMF has added 10 new categories specifically dedicated to January 2021 Frontline Special Reports for on-air talent and programming in television, radio and digital media,” it says.
“We know the circumstances of the past year led to delivering content to audiences in ways we never expected, which is why we are more committed than ever to honoring the remarkable work that has been created by, for and about women,” says Becky Brooks, AWMF’s executive director. “As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the Gracie Awards enable the Alliance for Women in Media Foundation to deliver on its promise of furthering the connection, education and recognition of women in media, even during turbulent times.”
The Gracie Awards Gala, previously scheduled for May 2021, has been postponed to September 20.
The Gracie Awards Luncheon, previously scheduled for June, has been postponed to July 21.
The 2021 Gracie Awards entry eligibility air dates for the traditional categories are from January 1-December 31, 2020. New Categories are exclusive to January of 2021. Entry details, including pricing and updated categories, can be viewed at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/call-for-entries/.
The application to judge content for The Gracie Awards is available until January 22. Learn more about Gracies judging and view the application at https://allwomeninmedia.org/gracies/judging/.
A Florida AM radio station is now on the air full-time with all-digital transmission, committing its 1470 signal strictly to listeners who have digital receivers.
Neal Ardman told Radio World that WMGG switched on its new Nautel transmitter, purchased for this purpose, on Tuesday morning. The station has an FM translator that continues to serve analog listeners at 96.1. The station airs Spanish-language programming.
If all-digital HD Radio technology for AM takes off in the United States, WMGG’s move would be seen as an important milestone.
Until now — beyond various test projects involving the National Association of Broadcasters and others — only one AM station in the country, Hubbard’s WWFD outside of Washington, D.C., has been using the technology consistently. It did so under special temporary authority while expressing the intent to retain it permanently. A second in Indiana, WIOE, experimented with it for several months last year but then turned it off for the time being.
But WMGG is believed to be the first station to take the step since the Federal Communications Commission said it would allow AM owners to deploy all-digital under normal operational rules rather than under an STA.
WMGG is a Class B station in Egypt Lake, near Tampa, airing a directional signal via a diplexed array. It has 2.8 kW power by day and 800 watts at night.
Ardman said the station had been testing the all-digital mode at night until throwing the switch this morning full-time. He expressed excitement about the digital quality and the lack of noise in areas where the signal usually fights noise sources.
The station has changed its legal IDs but so far has not done additional marketing or branding.
Among reasons for making the switch, he said, is the receiver penetration of HD Radio in cars in the market, which he said was in the 30% range and growing. Ardman said he expects that over time, major broadcast groups in the country will come to embrace the all-digital format.
A Radio World interview with Ardman will be featured in a ebook later this month about what’s next with all-digital on AM in the United States.
Under the recent FCC order, all-digital operation is allowed both day and night. There’s a 30-day waiting period before converting to all-digital “so that transitioning AM stations can provide adequate notice to the commission, consumers and other potentially affected stations.”
Digital stations still must participate in the national Emergency Alert System.
[Read more “Takeaways From the Digital Radio Order,” October 2020]
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is accepting entries for the 34th annual NAB Crystal Radio Awards, honoring outstanding community service efforts undertaken by radio stations throughout 2020.
Winners will receive national recognition for their community service work during a special awards presentation hosted by NAB in spring 2021.
Established in 1987, the NAB Crystal Radio Awards nationally recognize local radio stations for their year-round commitment to serving communities. A panel of judges representing the broadcast industry and community service organizations will review applications and select 50 finalists and 10 winners.
Stations must submit an online entry through NAB’s new member platform, My NAB, describing their community service efforts for the 2020 calendar year.
The deadline for entry submissions is January 31. Finalists will be announced in February.
The biggest licensee of radio stations in the U.S. has completed an exchange of warrants into shares of its Class A or Class B common stock.
Here’s what this means for iHeartMedia.
The audio media giant on Friday announced that it had completed an exchange of iHeartMedia Warrants into shares of iHeartMedia Class A Common Stock, the company’s publicly traded shares, or Class B Common Stock.
This means that the total shares of Class A common stock jump from 65 million as of Dec. 31, 2020 to 110 million, following the exchange.
At the same time, the number of Class B shares rise from 7 million to 29 million.
How many warrants are outstanding? The exchange reduces the amount from 75 million to 7 million.
The exchange was authorized by a FCC Declaratory Ruling approving an increase in iHeartMedia’s authorized aggregate foreign ownership from 25% to 100%.
But, some shares of Class B Common Stock and Warrants were not converted into Class A Common Stock “due to current regulatory restrictions applicable to certain shareholders.”
That’s only a matter of time: iHeart expects additional conversions of Class B Common Stock and Warrants into Class A Common Stock to transpire in the near future.
Holders of iHeartMedia Warrants that were not issued stock in the exchange and have not otherwise sought to exercise their Warrants can request the exercise of their Warrants for shares of Common Stock by contacting the Computershare Call Center at 800-736-3001 within the United States, or at 781-575-3100 outside of the United States. Holders of iHeartMedia Warrants that were issued stock in the exchange can obtain updated account information from Computershare by logging into their Computershare accounts or by calling the numbers above.
PASADENA, CALIF. — The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has awarded the parent of the primary NPR spoken word station serving the Los Angeles market with a hefty 24-month grant designed to boost the level of content created expressly for younger and “underserved” audiences.
Southern California Public Radio has received a half-million-dollar boost for its LAist Studios division.
LAist Studios is SCPR’s podcast development and production arm. The money is a two-year grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to advance the growth of the division and its “mission of addressing the content needs of young and underserved audiences.”
LAist Studios launched in 2019 and aims to “go beyond the surface to reflect the rich cultural landscape of Los Angeles and embrace the diverse voices of the region’s community.” Its shows include “The Big One,” “Servant of Pod,” “Hollywood, the Sequel,” “California City,” “California Love,” and “Norco ’80.”
SCPR noted that “California Love” made Apple’s Favorite Podcasts of 2020 list, and Spotify named it one of the Top Podcasts of 2020. “California Love” has also garnered several awards from Adweek and Bello Collective.
CPB and SCPR said Latino audiences make up nearly half of the Southern California region. “The funding will support staffing and help LAist Studios empower up-and-coming content creators by giving them the tools to develop shows and engage diverse young audiences,” according to a press release.
The announcement was made by CPB Senior Vice President, Radio, Journalism and CSG Services Kathy Merritt and SCPR Chief Content Officer Kristen Muller.
For reporters and stations covering civil unrest, the Minnesota Broadcasters Association shared links to several helpful resources.
“It goes without saying that journalists and broadcasters are in the front line,” the association wrote in an email to members. “Tensions are expected to rise leading up to and through the inauguration.”
Most if not all of the resources below were published prior to the events of last week.
-Poynter published “23 guidelines for journalists to safely cover protests” last June as demonstrators protested police brutality and the death of George Floyd. Sample advice: Your attitude is crucial; clearly identify yourself; have a constantly updated escape route; and consider hiring your own security.
-Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers tips for both before and during protests, including researching riot control tactics for the area ahead of time; having a plan in case you get “kettled” along with protestors; avoid breaking the law yourself; and how to handle police seizures of equipment.
-The RTDNA offers guidelines for journalistic best practices, such as being skeptical of crowd estimates and not using words like protester and rioter interchangeably. “Protest can be legal or not. Rioting is by definition a crime.”
-The National Association of Broadcasters said last summer that it was “gravely concerned about recent violence against journalists who are legally covering the protests taking place across the nation.” The NAB posted a lengthy list of relevant resources that touch on topics like best practices for covering crises on Twitter; guidelines for journalist arrests; a protest curfew order tracker; and a verification handbook for covering user-generated content during emergencies.
[Related: “How WTOP Covered the Assault on the Capitol”]
Gray Television in late December 2020 moved forward with the submission to the FCC of a formal Good Faith Complaint against Frontier Communications in response to the MVPD’s failure to reach a new retransmission consent agreement tied to one of its legacy systems for an ABC affiliate serving Sarasota and Manatee Counties along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and two stations in South Carolina.
On Monday (1/11), Frontier filed its response with the Commission.
The National Association of Broadcasters Leadership Foundation has announced that it is now accepting entries for the 2021 Celebration of Service to America Awards, recognizing outstanding community service by local broadcasters.
Eight Service to Community Awards will be presented, with one radio and one television honoree in each of the following categories: Large/Major Market (TV DMAs 1–50, radio markets 1–50); Medium Market (TV DMAs 51–100, radio markets 51150); and Small Market (TV DMAs 101210, radio markets 151–300).
The event won’t be a traditional ceremony at a location but rather a produced one hour program with “celebrity guests, past honorees and D.C. policymakers commending local radio and television stations from across the country for their exceptional commitment to public service and the extraordinary measures taken throughout 2020 to keep communities informed, supported and safe.” Award winners and finalist will also be honored during the event, to be available in the summer.
NAB members and nonmembers are eligible to enter. Entries must be submitted by March 5, at 11:59 p.m. PST. More specific details can be found here.
MIAMI — One day after rival Univision Communications announced a series of major leadership changes in its C-Suite, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises has revealed it is expanding its Revenue Strategy and Distribution business unit “to develop and
grow content monetization opportunities in the U.S. and around the world.”
LG Display and Eyesafe, a low blue light consumer electronics industry specialist, have teamed up to roll out the first Eyesafe Certified television display.
And, they are using the virtual CES 2021 conference and expo to do so.
The new display, which will serve a 65″ OLED television model, was designed to meet Eyesafe requirements for low emissions of blue light and optimal color performance. The certification was conducted by leading independent testing and certification firm TUV Rheinland.
The new 65″ OLED display ushers in a new era of advanced television displays that are designed for human health. LG Display expects many new Eyesafe television displays to come to market throughout 2021, as the television industry begins adopting Eyesafe Standards in an effort to communicate health and safety to end-consumers.
While the average number of hours spent in front of displays – which includes television screens, smartphones, laptops, and other digital devices – has been growing at an alarming rate in recent years, it has skyrocketed in the past year due to the global pandemic. In the U.S. alone, a recent Nielsen report indicates average screen time exceeds 13 hours a day.
The new display was the subject of an open letter issued by the Vision Health Advisory Board commending LG Display and Eyesafe for their leadership in bringing Eyesafe Certified Displays to the marketplace.
The Eyesafe Display Standard is developed in conjunction with over 250 leading ophthalmologists, optometrists, and engineers who have been conducting and analyzing clinical health and safety research on the impacts of exposure to high-energy blue light.
The LG Display television display has met the Eyesafe Display Standard requirements and will receive an AK Certificate (Certificate of Conformance) issued by TUV Rheinland, including the test report. Consumers can obtain information on certified products on the TUV Rheinland certificate database Certipedia, which helps facilitate consumers’ understanding of a product and enhance confidence in the purchase.
“Given the growing body of research around the breadth and scope of potential eye and systemic health impacts related to blue light exposure – amid a global pandemic which has forced many of us to adopt e-learning and work-from-home routines into our daily lives no less – the timing for the world’s first-ever Eyesafe Certified TV Display could not have been more timely,” said Davis Lee, a senior advisor to Eyesafe, the former Senior Vice President of LG Display and most recently the global head of monitors at Dell Technologies. “Through our partnership with LG Display, our mission is to work together to develop an array of display solutions that are designed to support consumer health, and we intend for the majority of the world’s brands to adopt Eyesafe.”
For more information on the LG Display television display designated as meeting the Eyesafe® Display Standard, please visit Eyesafe.com.
It’s a small world, after all, thanks to Zoom and the stay-at-home edicts some continue to endure across the globe as a result of the now 10-month old COVID-19 pandemic.
For some media organizations, this has increased the need for content — and, perhaps, breaking the language barrier. Guess what? Some 200 media organizations including the BBC now have access to a product that uses cutting-edge AI and hardware technology to offer verbal translation to English of content in a foreign tongue.
Introducing the M2 Translator Earbuds courtesy of TimeKettle, billed as the “world’s first offline” device of its kind. It’s been featured as part of the CES 2021 Innovation Awards, and via the American crowdfunding website Indiegogo has raised $770,792 toward its dissemination as a product with global reach and use.
Timekettle M2 translator boast multiple functions aside from translation, including phone calls, music listening, and access to a voice assistant.
Then, there is the Remote Mode capability, which allows up to 40 people to translate content from 40 languages simultaneously; this means people can enjoy group chatting and remote video calls via Zoom or Skype.
What about distinct accents? The device can detect 93 accents among the 40 languages it can translate — including 13 accents, allowing someone from Hawaii to easily communicate with English speakers in Timaru, New Zealand; Leeds, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; Boston; Frankfurt, Ky.; and Odessa, Tex.; with ease.
Sound quality is provided by a Qualcomm aptx 5.0 technology.
The M2 runs off mobile devices, requiring iOS 11.0 or higher in an iPhone and Android 7.0.
It also requires Bluetooth 4.2 and above for tech specification.
HOW TO LEARN MORE
Time Kettle operates a U.S. office from an office building directly opposite the famed Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Perhaps it is fitting, as Time Kettle is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.
General Questions: email@example.com
After-sales Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Marketing/Branding: email@example.com
For Business: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 6922 Hollywood Blvd., 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Operation Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30AM – 6:30PM
Less than 24 hours after a major shakeup in its corporate ranks, Univision Communications has moved forward with its widely discussed plans to launch an advertising-supported streaming service serving Spanish-speaking U.S. Hispanics.
Over three years after the launch of the HDMI Specification Version 2.1, major products are now widely available that support HDMI 2.1 features including 4K@120Hz, 8K@60Hz, Dynamic HDR and eARC.
Instead of asking when HDMI 2.1-enabled products will be available, people are now asking for advice about which new HDMI 2.1-enabled products to buy.
“It’s exciting to see so many new products available with these new features,” said Rob Tobias, CEO and president of HDMI Licensing Administrator Inc. (HDMI LA). “And with the launch of the latest gaming consoles, consumers can now enjoy a thrilling HDMI 2.1 end-to-end experience with consoles, AVR’s, cables, TVs and monitors. With shipments of HDMI products reaching almost 10 billion since it launched in 2002, HDMI technology continues to be the universal interface for consumer electronics products.”
HDMI 2.1 technology’s enhanced gaming features deliver gaming experiences into the home. These features include Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT); and when combined with new 4K and 8K displays, HDR and eARC immersive audio, HDMI 2.1 brings the best of home entertainment to life. The new Fixed Rate Link (FRL) mode of HDMI 2.1 ensures much more robust video delivery over the cable, by using a robust forward error correction scheme, combined with a link training protocol which adapts the link rate, if needed.
Accomplishments for the HDMI Forum
“The HDMI Forum didn’t rest after releasing the 2.1 specification and 2020 was one of its busiest years ever,” said David Glen of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and President of the HDMI Forum. “We launched the Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable Certification Program (UHS Program) and now these UHS Cables are available in the market to enable full the 48Gbps performance of HDMI 2.1. We also released the Compliance Test Specification for Active Cables, and end-users will shortly be able to purchase Active Optical Cables that support longer length installations, an important step in completing the HDMI 2.1 ecosystem.” Regarding the future he added, “In addition to the great products released in 2020, we’re expecting many new products in 2021 supporting the enhanced features of HDMI 2.1.”
The mandatory UHS Program ensures that quality Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cables reach the market and support 4K and 8K video, HDR, VRR, eARC and all other HDMI 2.1 features, and cables are required to affix an Ultra High Speed HDMI Certification Label to each package notifying consumers of the certification status of the product. These Certified cable designs must pass rigorous testing requirements for 48G signal performance and pass new state-of-the-art EMI tests designed to minimize interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other radio frequencies.
The HDMI Forum is also promoting HDMI Cable Power. With this feature, active HDMI Cables can now be powered directly from the HDMI Connector, without attaching a separate power cable. This makes attaching and using active HDMI Cables as easy as using passive, wired HDMI Cables.
Shipments of Premium High Speed HDMI Cables grow along with expansion of 4K content distribution
With the explosion of 4K content, this cable is vital to both the consumer and commercial sectors connecting 4K cable, satellite and IPTV set top boxes to TVs. It is specified globally for use by service providers for in-home installations. It also requires packaging to display the Premium HDMI Cable Certification Label for added verification of compliance and to prevent counterfeiting; this cable certification program is also administered by HDMI LA.
HDMI LA Ramps Up International Enforcement of Counterfeit Products
HDMI LA ensures licensed and compliant products reach the market and works with international law enforcement and customs and borders officials to conduct factory raids, product seizures and takedowns of counterfeit product listings on e-commerce and social media. This benefits the licensed HDMI Adopters and authorized resellers and ensures end-users can purchase legitimate products, enabling a seamless plug-and-play experience.HDMI LA at CES 2021 HDMI LA is participating in the all-digital CES 2021 and will be hosting content as well as a webcast featuring David Glen and Rob Tobias providing a more detailed update on the status of HDMI technology and HDMI 2.1 in the marketplace.
RBR+TVBR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
The global economy has been decimated by COVID-19, and while governments continue to try and contain the pandemic, industries and societies have had to adapt.
Ahead of CES 2021, Futuresource offered a third COVID-19 update that reflects on progress governments have made towards addressing the economic impact of the pandemic. This includes how the Consumer Electronics, Entertainment and Pro-AV markets have fared in H2, as well as what the indications are for the first half of 2021.
Chris Pennell, the Principal Analyst for Futuresource Consulting, notes that the promising news coming from COVID-19 vaccine trials has provided industries and citizens with the hope that we might be about to turn the corner. But, the impact and disruption to socio-economic trends will likely be with us for some time, he predicts.
In June 2020, when Futuresource last wrote about the impact COVID-19 was having on technology sectors, the outlook was for market disruption to continue through the second half of 2020, with both demand and supply-side issues not being fully resolved until the first half of 2021. “We were expecting as much as $120 billion to be wiped off the retail value of Consumer Electronics, Entertainment and Pro-AV markets by the end of 2020,” Pennell notes.
Where there were uncertainties in the first half of 2020, governments have stepped in and provided support; it is estimated that globally, more than 50 million jobs have been retained due to direct government support, he says.
“Thanks to the success of national lockdowns the spread of the virus had slowed enough that by the end of H1 2020, governments had rolled back restrictions on trade and mobility to encourage consumers and workers to return to pre-COVID-19 patterns,” he says. “However, since then cases have risen once more, forcing governments to implement short term national lockdowns or localized approaches.”
The second wave notwithstanding, the combination of government support and easing of lockdowns has softened the economic impact. In the first half of last year, forecasters were estimating that the pandemic would lead to a 7.6% decline in the global economy. Forecasts have since been revised and it is now thought that the global economy will shrink by 7.2%, a slight improvement. However, this level of support has come at a cost. Globally, government debt is now on average equivalent to 76% of GDP.
Have government actions been enough to revive those markets most impacted in H1 from the pandemic? “Currently it appears not,” Pennell says. Areas such as box office and live events remain subdued.
“The reliance of pay-tv on key events, many of which have been cancelled or scaled back, has led to an overall decline in ARPU,” Pennell notes. “Instead, consumers are subscribing to media content via on demand services and Futuresource forecast spend on premium video on demand (PVOD) will top $500 million by the end of 2020.”
Media consumption is not the only area where Pennell has seen significant changes in channel preferences by consumers. Industries that have previously been slow to adopt digital channels in comparison to consumer facing enterprises have had to catch up. At the same time, vendors with large retail outlet footprints have had to consider how to blend online experiences with existing channels, with stores modifying customer engagement strategies to include curb-side pick and digital signage.
“2020 has not only left a lasting mark on consumers; it has also led to a shift in the relationship between work and technology,” Pennell continues. “With two thirds of enterprises allowing employees to work from home, the home working genie is well and truly out of the bottle and it is difficult to see it going back. Vendors are starting to place big bets on the integration of collaboration and communication tools with enterprise systems, as evidenced by the recent announcement that Salesforce is looking to acquire Slack (a work-based chat and collaboration platform) for $27.7 billion. For the rest of the sector, 2020 was a year of two halves. In H1, demand far outstripped the ability of vendors to supply devices, while H2 saw a gradual return to more rational patterns of demand.”
And, while 2020 might have been a particularly difficult year for vendors, the trends of 2020 are set to accelerate next year. Pennell believes vendors of consumer technology and media will need to confront the lack of investment into online channels, as well as the low cost of sourcing goods and switching enabled by digital channels by developing customer experience programs. For enterprises, investment in digital tools is now a priority. “Enterprises are having to use technology to be able to react faster to unpredictable changes by enabling teams to maintain productivity no matter where they are working from,” he says.
NEC Personal Computers Ltd., a joint venture company of Lenovo and NEC Corporation, has announced the launch of the upgraded “LAVIE Pro Mobile” at the virtual CES 2021.
Having garnered recognition for its light weight and durability at last year’s CES, the new LAVIE Pro Mobile returns with what the company calls “even more tempting features for on-the-go professionals, including a long-lasting battery life and more comfortable typing experience to boost productivity.”
This PC comes outfitted with an 11th Gen Intel Core i7 CPU and a keyboard design exclusively available to customers outside of Japan, while retaining the same compact 13.3-inch-wide screen and 889 grams (1.95lbs) weight. An optimized lift-up hinge function also tilts the keyboard to fit personal preference for the typing experience with 19mm key pitch.
At the event, NECPC also presented a sneak preview of the “LAVIE MINI” — an 8-inch convertible PC prototype built for fun and premium entertainment with cool gaming accessories.
The LAVIE MINI pocket-sized PC is one of the smallest form-factors featuring the power and performance of the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 mobile processor with Intel Iris Xe graphics. To personalize their experience, users can simply attach a gaming controller and a non-portable gaming console connected to an external monitor for home use. The prototype was showcased at the world’s largest consumer technology event to collect customer feedback and assess plans to launch in the future.
Main highlights of the above-mentioned products include:
Stylish Durability on the Go: The New LAVIE Pro Mobile
The new 13-inch NECPC LAVIE Pro Mobile laptop in Navy Blue
With lightweight components housed in a rich Navy-Blue hued compact body, the device boasts a 13.3-inch-wide screen while weighing only 889 grams (1.95lbs).
Despite its compact build, it offers USB Type-C connectivity for productivity at home/office.
The PC also includes other features making it ideal for flexible working. With a durable top and bottom carbon casing and a long-lasting battery run-time of up to 10 hours*, users can work from nearly anywhere, whether at home or back in the office.
The LAVIE Pro Mobile starts at $1,699.99.
RBR+TVBR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
It was adopted by the FCC on November 20. Now, it has formally appeared in the Federal Register.
The Commission is open to receiving comments associated with its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to enable FM booster geo-targeting capabilities.
Specifically, the FCC wants input on whether it should modify its rules governing the operation of FM booster stations by FM radio broadcasters to enable geo-targeted content “in limited circumstances.”
ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. — CP Communications has joined forces with a producer of sports and documentaries to “demonstrate the value” of remote production models for sports and live events.
Greenlight Television produced and live-streamed the muscle car racing championship known as the Trans Am Series for fans worldwide — and it did so by using IP and bonded cellular systems from CP Communications.
Greenlight Television is the first company to provide helicopter coverage for the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle races in 1996, and the first to produce live HD coverage of the Royal Automobile Club’s Tourist Trophy from Silverstone in 2008.
In late 2019, Greenlight was asked by the Trans Am Series to develop a quality live stream — without the costs of an Outside Broadcast Truck. It developed a solution. “As the pandemic changed the live sports production model, Greenlight Television found a like-minded partner in CP, and one that had the appropriate remote production knowledge, infrastructure and experience,” CP says.
“We do a lot of live streamed events for clients with a range of budgets, and simply cabling cameras to optimize redundancy can quickly escalate costs, let alone using a full production truck,” said Lauren Roberts, Director of Greenlight Television. “We made the commitment to invest in bonded cell technology and CP Communications were instrumental in helping us implement that new technology. The success of the live On Board Camera systems deserve a special mention and CP’s assistance in developing them was invaluable.”
CP Communications established its Red House Streaming (RHS) brand in 2018 to evolve live content acquisition, while strengthening convergence with Remote Integration Model (REMI) production techniques. The RHS unit houses CP’s own content acquisition systems, plus third-party products, including Mobile Viewpoint (MVP) live encoding, bonding and streaming solutions.
Leveraging 12 MVP Agile Airlink encoders for six in-car systems, four fixed camera positions, a roaming pit and podium camera and a drone, the small local crew captured the fast-paced action live in HD. All content was delivered to Greenlight’s remote production studio on the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea, with CP Communications providing real-time production support from its distributed network operations center (NOC). The live cut feed was sent back to the commentators at the track, and then streamed back to the Isle of Man. Voice and graphics were then added to the final live stream, all with a latency of only 1.6 seconds.
CP Communications CEO Kurt Heitmann emphasized how the company’s increased reliance on IP and bonded cellular systems, along with the now-proven viability of their remote production model, has forever changed the cost and labor structure for sports and live event production.
“The traditional production approach for this kind of event would require a mobile production truck, an RF unit, and a seemingly endless amount of fiber, technicians and production equipment onsite,” Heitmann said. “Working with partners like Greenlight who embrace the REMI model substantially reduces costs. The new generation of live event television is here and it delivers cost-effective acquisition with remote management, and the ability to make the entire content chain far more efficient.”
From its Isle of Man production studio, Greenlight live-streamed the race, driver interviews and other content direct to consumers over multiple platforms (including Facebook and YouTube) using Vimeo’s Livestream Studio 6 platform. Greenlight used a Unity intercom system to communicate with on-location crew and engineers at CP’s Canadian NOC, where the Airlink servers were controlled using MVP’s LinkMatrix management portal.
“From Nova Scotia we consistently optimized all Airlink encoding and multiplexing settings based on local conditions, assisted with stream routing, and provided continuity checks as Airlinks came online for each race,” said Allen Harris, Lead IP and Bonded Cellular Technologist for CP Communications. “The NOC reduced the workload in Greenlight’s control room, removing any concerns about backhauling signals so that they could concentrate on producing great content.”
Roberts emphasized that the end-to-end production workflow and technical infrastructure helped them substantially reduce headcount compared to the “traditional way” they produce events. “We typically have a large crew for these kinds of events, and reduced that number to 10 for the Trans Am Series,” she said. “That’s a massive reduction in labor costs, and a far more efficient process for setup and breakdown. We admit to being nervous about the implementation of our idea, but CP helped us every step of the way. We’re delighted with the results and excited for the future.”
— Brian Galante
On December 29, Searchlight III UTD and ForgeLight‘s acquisition of a majority stake of Univision Holdings formally closed. As such, Searchlight, a private investment firm founded by CEO Wade Davis, and associated entity, ForgeLight — an operating and investment company focused on the media and consumer technology sectors — are now the holders of shares in Univision previously held by Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, TPG, Thomas H. Lee Partners, and Saban Capital Group.
As expected, Davis assumed Univision’s Chief Executive chair from Vince Sadusky.
What wasn’t expected: a major house cleaning in Univision’s C-Suite.
P1 Learning has teamed up with Marketron to expand the resources on digital advertising that are available to media sales professionals in the Marketron Learning Center, an online training platform that provides best practices, how-tos, industry information, and product guides.
“Today’s sales professional prefers bite-sized modules, so P1 Learning’s library of over 2,000 courses was exactly what we needed when launching Marketron’s NXT Training Academy,” Marketron Senior Manager, Digital Transformation & Enablement Jeff Ulrich said. “P1 Learning’s industry-specific videos have helped us quickly scale our sales enablement efforts. The measurable increases we’re seeing in learning engagement will undoubtably lead to further revenue growth for our customers.”
P1 Learning’s digital ad sales courses are designed to train sales professionals on the essentials of interactive media and how to build successful customer programs integrating both traditional and digital assets.
“We pride ourselves on being responsive to the needs of our industry and short, up-to-date and easily understandable digital sales courses continue to top the list,” said Bryan Marriott, President and GM for P1 Learning. “It’s an honor to become the preferred training provider to one of the most highly respected broadcast-based companies around.”
All Marketron NXT and Pitch customers have access to a digital education and sales training program that includes portions of P1 Learning’s video-based training content focused on selling digital advertising.