As a forward-thinking company in a rapidly evolving marketplace, we spend a lot of time focusing on the future. But as 2019 draws to a close, we want to take this time to reflect on some key successes we’ve achieved this year, working closely with our partners and customers.
Some of our biggest successes this year took place in Africa, with more news coming soon. These included a first in the Sub-Saharan region with our long-term partner NHK. In an effort to help encourage conservation, we helped bring stunning 4K images of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, including the famous crater, to their viewers in Japan. Handling complex remote location logistics, we transmitted 12.5 hours of live content per day and in order to cope with the high compression required to minimise transponder use, we used advanced modulation (DVB-S2X), alongside correct power handling.
We were, once again, highly active across the sports market in 2019, a particular highlight being the continuation of our relationship with the organisers and rights holders of the Total Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt to bring the 2019 event to the world. We worked in partnership with the Egyptian Local Organising Committee (LOC), Lagardère Sports and the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF). We also partnered with local specialists KAR Technology, who provided logistical expertise while Iris Media provided SNGs as well as additional technical support.
In addition to bringing the opening match and final to the world in 4K, at each stadium we supplied two flyaway SNGs to bring every match, as well as additional footage to increase engagement, to viewers. To further increase ROI and viewer engagement, VOD content was prepared using our Content Marketplace service, a module of our Digital Media Hub content processing suite, and to promote downloads, each broadcast affiliate who used the system received new content notifications.
We made another big splash about Content Marketplace in 2019 when Amaury Sport Organisation (A.S.O.) selected it for clipped content sharing. A.S.O. is a venerable organisation that arranges 210 days of competition per year (90 events in 25 countries).
This year we also expanded our partnership with Eutelsat Communications to create a new HOTBIRD platform, with German public broadcaster Duetsche Welle HD as the first customer. With this we’ve increased our DVBS2 capacity to provide an ideal platform for the still-growing move from SD to HD.
In Asia our team expanded our partnership with Cartoon Network, providing technical services for two pop-up channels. With our help, Cartoon Network launched a channel in Singapore with Singtel and one in the Philippines with Cignal. In Singapore, the channel, called “Pop & Watch”, was available free on Singtel’s IPTV service, as well as its Singtel TV GO and Singtel CAST mobile apps from June 12-21. Cartoon Network Classics was available as a pay-per-view channel on Cignal TV from May 3 to June 2. These pop-up channels were something new for us in Asia and we’re likely to see more of these requirements on a global basis.
Meanwhile our US team signed a partnership deal with PSSI Global Services, provider of comprehensive event, transmission and connectivity solutions to enhance media distribution and contribution services for its customers. These include global distribution of news and sporting events, US teleport backup services, and expanded international programming in the US.
As part of the deal, we also acquired the Galaxy 19 international channel business from PSSI, which includes three Ku-band satellite transponders and related customers. This deal also strengthens our commitment to live sports because we’re using PSSI’s International Teleport and its fleet of SNG vehicles for customers needing contribution and distribution of sporting events. This is a big win indeed.
And since we’re on the topic of satellite, let’s not forget about the important contract win we announced with Orby TV in the US to provide broadcast media operational services for the innovative pay-as-you-go DTH start-up. We’re handling Orby TV’s full broadcast operations at our Media Center in Culver City, CA using our extensive fibre and satellite network. We’re also managing channel aggregation, providing Orby TV’s co-location services, handling technical operations and the uplinking of the channels to the high-powered Ku-band capacity on Eutelsat’s EUTELSAT 117 West A satellite at 117° West.
A key strategic development across 2019 has been the partnerships we have initiated to integrate server-side dynamic ad insertion into our OTT TV Everywhere suite of services. This is rapidly becoming an essential tool in increasing the monetisation of OTT video services because it makes it possible to automatically insert targeted ads in live linear OTT or video-on-demand content so our customers can maximise ad revenues and give viewers a better viewing experience. Reflecting this, we announced a partnership with Los Angeles-based software company SnifferCat and in Europe with Ad Insertion Platform.
Along with all of these achievements, we also appointed several new hires to our team across various regions. In January, we will officially welcome Tan See Chai as Head of Sales, Distribution, in Singapore. He will handle sales of our permanent distribution services to broadcasters, cable operators, news agencies and corporations as well as other relevant organisations across Asia and Asia-Pacific.
With cybersecurity and related content protection being a priority for us, we hired Renaud Presty as Director of Security to oversee all cybersecurity and content protection-related issues. To foster the ongoing growth across our Content, Acquisition, Aggregation and Distribution (CAAD) services we brought on Berto Guzman as Vice President of this division for the Americas. Guzman’s decades of experience in content distribution are a valuable addition. We also promoted 18-year Globecast veteran Shakunt Malhotra to Managing Director in Asia, as his knowledge of the vibrant markets in this region is invaluable.
As you can see, it’s been a busy year for Globecast and we will continue to make new and innovative ways of thinking and working a reality for our customers. We look forward to a fantastic 2020 and we hope to hear from you!