Hubbing, the Cloud & the Future of TV Station Group Operations

Aug 11 2021

Recently, Sam Peterson, who is GM of Bitcentral’s Core products, joined executives from E.W. Scripps, Gray Television, Hearst Television, and Tegna, to discuss the possibilities for hubbing some or all TV station group operations.

The panel, which was run by our friends at TVNewsCheck, looked at how network operations centers are playing an increasing role in the distribution of programming, and what this means for streamlining operations, as well as the possibilities for NextGen TV and personalized programming.

Hubbing playout operations is nothing new, of course. But as we enter a more multichannel world, the design of such facilities is changing as station groups grow larger and cloud providers improve their ability to facilitate live TV playout, production, and other operations.

TV stations, particularly in smaller markets, can now be operated for the most part from single technology centers that house playout and production technology under one roof. This is a subject that Bitcentral is extremely familiar with, of course. Sam Peterson explained the two main use cases we see:

There are two completely different hubbing scenarios that I’ve seen in customers:

  1. Centralized personnel and hardware implementation, operating all of their station group out of a single site. Trying to gain as many efficiencies as they can, on the ingest side as much as the playout side. It makes sense, especially where there’s a lot of common content across their streams.
  2. Hardware is decentralized but operators are co-mingled or remote.

Everybody has a different need. What they like about Bitcentral is our ability to implement technologies for different cases without sacrificing the quality of delivery.”

Disaster recovery was a big talking point during the panel and is something that has come more sharply into focus during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unsurprisingly, with many operators working from home over the last year or so, Bitcentral’s Oasis product has seen a sharp increase in use.

One of the big things we saw in our product Oasis was sharing content between sites. We were seeing a fair amount of this before COVID but afterwards the numbers doubled and almost tripled.”
– Sam Peterson, GM, Core Business Unit, Bitcentral

But the growth of the cloud is not just a feature of the pandemic. It is set to continue for a long time yet.

Earlier this year Bitcentral announced an agreement with Veset to enhance these capabilities in a true cloud offering. Now, Bitcentral customers have the freedom to rapidly launch event-driven popup channels and provide disaster recovery services in an OPEX model with lower upfront costs than traditional on-prem services. And they benefit from our huge experience in migrating customers, their operations, and their media into our workflows so that those efficiencies can be achieved as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

We also provide 24-hour support to provide our customers with peace of mind in supporting those critical operations and infrastructure.

Here’s a breakdown of our playout and production systems:

Core News
An elegant and efficient way to handle news production which is optimized to the vital tasks that keep mission-critical newsroom operations running smoothly. It is trusted by over 450 channels across North America and over 1,000 media operations worldwide.

Central Control
Industry-leading on-premise playout and automation solution that seamlessly executes all the processes converging into playout. Automated ingest routines, streamlined verification/validation processes, and intuitive segmenting procedures makes Central Control one of the most advanced and reliable solutions for linear broadcast playout.

Veset Nimbus
A self-service, cloud playout solution for broadcasters and broadcast service providers. Nimbus is designed to rapidly launch event-driven popup channels, disaster recovery channels, and 24/7 channels with lower up-front costs.

We also offer an industry-leading streaming platform and monetization solution:

Our specialized cloud-based video platform for broadcasters, digital publishers and media companies that packages and presents timely news-like content to all digital platforms, using automation tools to minimize the manual effort.

Find out more by contacting us below – we’d love to hear from you.

Sales: 949.253.9000

PS. If you’d like to watch the panel discussion again then you can do so here.