Sunday, February 21, 2010

Red Bee and the role it plays in UK Broadcasting

I went to an interesting presentation held under the auspices of the IET at their West London venue.
I realised that Red Bee was responsible for the transmission of the BBC TV channels but I was not aware that it also provided presentation for channel 4's services (Channel 4 regional feeds E4 More4 4OD and Film4 included) and had carried out the transfer from Channel 4's Horseferry Road to Red Bee's White City centre without missing a beat.

Ian Wimsett Senior Technologist and David Popper the Head of Solutions Build at Red Bee Media gave a full account of how the transfer was planned and managed, they emphasised the importance of TUPE staff and the value of a parallel running programme.

It is in some respects surprising that these outsourcing arrangements are made which seem to provide benefits to the incumbemnt operators as well as profits for the company taking over the operation (other examples include SIS and Siemens).

While Discovery has bucked the trend in Chiswick Park and 'insourced' from Ascent its playout of 50+ TV channels operation others continue to remove staff from their payroll and rely on carefully drawn contracts to make sure they continue to deliver to their audiences.

Is it a good thing or should broadcasters retain responsibility and control of their own destiny?
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