Imparja TV broadcasts five stations from MediaHub Australia and their broadcast area is now over 3.6 million square kilometres, spanning six states and territories with an estimated one million resident viewers. This month Imparja renewed and expanded its broadcast services agreement with MediaHub Australia for five more years. The renewed agreement includes amongst many other new services Diverse HD Uncompressed Connectivity, Content Aggregation, Media Asset Management, Storage, HD Channel Play-out, Headend Compression, an EPG System and a Headend Video Monitoring System.
Imparja TV CEO, Alistair Feehan, explained, “Five years ago, after the transition to digital, it became apparent that the rate of change in terms of technology and equipment was going to be a critical and costly factor going forward. We explored the options and decided to outsource playout and went to market. MediaHub were the best option in the market for us then and hence the decision was easy. They are also the best option for us now so the decision to renew for another five years with an expanded set of services was just as easy.”
MediaHub CEO, Alan Sweeney, said, ““While MediaHub has worked hard to deliver a best of class service to Imparja over the last five years, we have also been mindful of our obligation to ensure Imparja had access to the most forward thinking technologies to enhance its service offering, while delivering reduced operating costs. Imparja had many options for its future operating model so it is gratifying to know that MediaHub was their clear choice for future operations. Partnering with ATEME has also allowed us to achieve our objectives and continue to deliver the highest quality IP playout, headend encoding and EPG services in the market.”
Will Munkara-Kerr, Country Manager Australia and New Zealand for ATEME added, “We are delighted to continue to support MediaHub and their customers in the ongoing pursuit of service quality. The Imparja project represents an innovative new model enabling MediaHub to continue their premium offering while recognising efficiencies through technological advancements. In this case, the solution is running a fully containerised environment, greatly reducing the hardware footprint.”
Imparja TV are licenced to broadcast the Channel Nine signals of Nine, Go and GEM channels to 28 retransmission sites located in six states and territories. They also provide the Viewer Access Satellite Transmission (VAST) services for those viewers who are unable to receive terrestrial signals.
Feehan continued, “Like any broadcaster the integrity of the service you provide is of tantamount importance and MediaHub provides that security for all of our stakeholders and at a fair market price. The ability to assess and resolve issues and have detailed reporting systems is critical and having a ‘brains trust’ that can work around and through complex issues in non-conformists ways if required is a huge benefit and a strength of MediaHub.”
“We are very pleased to extend our association with Imparja,” commented Scott Jolly, MediaHub Head of Operations. “Imparja TV has some unique and dynamic operational requirements making MediaHub the perfect fit to manage the complexity of their channels. We have developed a highly collaborative working relationship with the entire team at Imparja that has developed into a true partnership.”
Imparja is also in the process of transferring their entire playout functionality to MediaHub, using the latest technologies available for digital television broadcast both terrestrially and via satellite.
Imparja CFO, Allen Cope, added, “We previously used our legacy equipment for parts of the signal transmission. However, by the first quarter of 2021 MediaHub will provide all broadcast equipment, transmission and feeds for the Nine programs. Imparja is placing its entire playout functionality with MediaHub along with the engineering and IT responsibilities that go with that changeover.”
Two of the defining factors of Imparja’s relationship with MediaHub and critical reasons for the renewal are MediaHub’s unrivalled expertise and reliability.
Feehan continued, “MediaHub has not missed a beat during our time with them and if we have had issues they have been resolved with minimum fuss and in a very timely manner. Our service to air has met all of our requirement and stipulations. The ability to find alternate solutions has also been a real benefit and is a real strength of their group. MediaHub has also provided all our contracted playout elements, which you would expect as a commercial reality. However they have also helped with advice in terms of workflows and solutions outside the remit of our agreement and done so in good faith.”
The unique nature of Imparja’s business means when daylight savings occurs in different states, they are required to time shift programs to meet different classification guidelines. They are also required to manage advertising schedules for live sport to accommodate different regulatory laws.
Cope added, “Having MediaHub do our playout has enabled us to manage these variations with minimal effort. Mainly, the working relationship that has been established by MediaHub staff at all levels in our company with our operational personnel has allowed for a partnership that makes the entire process seamless from a broadcast perspective. In short, we are re-signing and in fact asking MediaHub to manage our entire playout processes, based on their ability to provide us with an efficient, workable, cost effective solution.”
So, it’s fair to say the MediaHub Imparja partnership has been an unqualified success.
Alistair Feehan concluded, “MediaHub provides Imparja with the ability to keep pace with the ever changing technological advances in broadcast technology, something that Imparja, as a standalone independent broadcaster would be unable to achieve in isolation. The ability to provide us with a robust, agile and agnostic approach to playout technologies and find the best fit for our unique broadcast requirements in remote Australia, makes them an indispensable partner for the Imparja business and keeps our company on a level footing, technologically, with the largest broadcasters in the world. All of the above is testament to MediaHub’s very well run, highly agile operation to whom we are thankful and most appreciative of.”