SBS will become the first Australian media company to evolve to digital cloud-based playout of its television channels under a new contract with global media and content company Deluxe Australia to become its managed service provider from next year.
Under the agreement, Deluxe Australia will manage broadcast playout operations for SBS channels SBS ONE and SBS 2 from 27 January, 2015, with the current 58 SBS employees involved in its broadcast playout area offered employment with Deluxe.
SBS managing director Michael Ebeid said: “This decision is the outcome of 18 months of rigorous work to determine the best way forward for SBS and is about keeping ahead of the curve of global developments, in a competitive landscape.
“These new arrangements will position SBS to take full advantage of digital convergence and better focus on curating content and design of our programming for delivery not just on TV, but also on the web, mobile devices and smart TVs.
“One of the biggest priorities in negotiating our new arrangement was looking after our SBS employees involved in the transfer of business. I’m pleased we’ve secured an outcome in which SBS teams will be offered transfers to Deluxe under an agreement which will see them employed by a progressive company specialising and innovating in their fields of expertise.”
SBS technology and distribution director Noel Leslie said: “Our current playout infrastructure was nearing the end of its life which gave us the opportunity to explore a future playout arrangement for SBS that can best service our organisation going forward.
“This move is about keeping pace with global trends and a major shift we are seeing in the industry internationally to managed serviced arrangements. The use of a cloud-based platform will give us greater flexibility, resilience and agility around our playout service while still continuing our core functions in the broadcasting chain.”
Deluxe Australia managing director Alaric McAusland said: “Deluxe Australia is pleased to enter this exciting partnership with SBS and looks forward to working with SBS and its talented technical team to migrate content and programme management to the innovative Deluxe MediaCloud platform.The transferring team will make a valued contribution to Deluxe’s long-term growth.”
Deluxe MediaCloud managing director Maurizio Cimelli said: “The MediaCloud platform is designed to transform broadcasting from content acquisition through to playout and delivery. Its agility, cost effectiveness and resilience is designed to offer broadcasters far more flexibility without compromising quality. We are proud to be working with the SBS team who have shown a great deal of commitment to embracing this new and innovative approach to broadcasting.”
Under the agreement, all affected current SBS employees involved in the broadcast operations and engineering teams will be offered employment with Deluxe Australia. Under the transfer of business, SBS people will be made offers of employment with Deluxe on terms substantially similar, or on an overall basis no less favourable from their current terms of employment.
During the transition period, current SBS teams will continue in their same roles, using the same equipment, at the existing SBS headquarters in Artarmon. Services will be provided from the custom-built new environment at Deluxe when the transition work is complete and the team is ready.
The facility is being built initially to meet SBS requirements at Lane Cove in Sydney’s north but it will also act as Deluxe’s regional Broadcast Hub; a key component of its regional broadcast growth strategy providing further personal opportunity for the transferring SBS team members.
The decision to transition to a managed service provider for playout of SBS ONE and SBS 2 has been in progress for over 18 months and is unrelated to outcomes of the Federal Government funding review.