Disney/ABC Television Group Announces Transition to IP Based "Virtual Master Control"

Vince Roberts, executive vice president, global operations and chief technology officer, Disney/ABC Television Group

First major network transition to cloud playout solution for enhanced revenue generation, efficiency and flexibility
After having successfully deployed its cloud-based WATCH services across the Disney/ABC Television Group of networks, the company is now transitioning its linear broadcast operations – global programming playout, delivery and network operations - to a unified IP cloud architecture using Imagine Communications, a global leader in video infrastructure, advertising systems and workflow management solutions serving media networks, broadcast stations, digital media, communication service provider and enterprise markets.  This marks a significant evolution in Disney/ABC Television Group's broadcast operations, and establishes a foundation for how broadcast programming could be made, moved, managed, and monetized in the coming years.

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"By leveraging evolving IP and Cloud technologies we are able to move beyond what's currently possible with traditional proprietary “Big Iron” broadcast infrastructures," said Vince Roberts, executive vice president, global operations and chief technology officer, Disney/ABC Television Group.  "Imagine Communications' IP solutions enable us to automate and deliver workflow processes and technologies to a more agile and scalable environment.  Our shared vision and close collaboration will enable Disney/ABC Television Group to take a uniquely innovative approach to the next generation of television and media distribution platforms."

Vince Roberts Selects Imagine Communications with Charlie Vogt, chief executive officer

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“We are thrilled to extend our relationship with the Disney/ABC Television Group on this groundbreaking project that represents the future of broadcast television,” said Charlie Vogt, chief executive officer, Imagine Communications. “Their transition to cloud-based playout provides a platform to accelerate the expansion of their acclaimed programming and gain freedom from dependencies on geographic content origination and physical playout facilities.  We are focused on supporting Vince and his team’s cutting-edge vision with the advanced technologies and on-the-ground professional service experts to support a seamless transition to cloud playout across multiple deployment phases.”

First major network transition to cloud playout solution for enhanced revenue generation, efficiency and flexibility

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Disney/ABC Television Group is deploying VersioCloud™, Imagine Communications’ advanced, fully IP-enabled, integrated playout in the cloud platform. Designed for a network origination ecosystem, this geo-dispersed platform aggregates national operations into a cohesive, resilient and unified entertainment delivery solution. VersioCloud advances the evolution of longstanding broadcast operations, including master control functionality. Software-based systems enable the integration of formerly discrete, hardware-based functions, expanding the productivity of master control room operations while optimizing workflow.

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The VersioCloud solution is powered by Zenium™, Imagine Communications’ software-defined workflow management platform. Zenium’s modular and flexible architecture provides the capability to plug-in content augmentation functions for affiliate branding platforms including triggers, live caption data, loudness control and externally generated crawls and tickers. A hierarchical programming model with an intuitive user interface enables associations to be made between programming blocks that move, track and trigger together, providing operational flexibility and simplification in executing complex and multi-region events.  Imagine Communications’ professional service teams will support the transition and training, helping to ensure a seamless transfer for each production facility.

The VersioCloud solution is powered by Zenium™

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With its industry defining WATCH ABC, WATCH ABC Family, WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior services, Disney/ABC Television Group became the first entertainment networks to provide authenticated users access to both live, 24/7 linear network streams as well as an extensive offering of advantaged window on demand episodes on desktops, connected TVs, smartphones and tablets.   In the process, the company developed a proprietary cloud-based software solution that considers and automates complex business rules specific to the delivery of live and on-demand television feeds.

Disney/ABC Television Group became the first entertainment networks to provide authenticated users access

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The Disney/ABC Television Group
Disney|ABC Television Group is comprised of The Walt Disney Company’s global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations group, and radio business.  This includes ABC Studios, the ABC Owned Television Stations Group, and the ABC Television Network, which provides entertainment, news and kids programming to viewers via more than 200 affiliated stations across the U.S.  It also includes Disney Channels Worldwide, a portfolio of 107 kid-driven, family-inclusive entertainment channels, including Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Disney Cinemagic, Hungama, and Radio Disney brands, as well as cable network ABC Family, which targets Millennials. Disney|ABC Television Group also has equity interests in A+E Networks, Hulu, and Fusion.

About Imagine Communications
Imagine Communications Corp., is a global leader in video infrastructure, advertising systems and workflow management solutions serving the media networks, broadcast stations, digital media, communication service provider and enterprise markets spanning 185 countries. Today, nearly half of the world’s video channels traverse through more than 3 million Imagine Communications products deployed around the world. Imagine Communications provides the most complete end-to-end video solutions and is innovating to deliver the most advanced IP, cloud-enabled, software-defined network and workflow solutions in the world.

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