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This is international playout There is no such thing as an off the shelf solution where broadcast managed services are concerned. Here Michael Ward, Head of Operations at WRN Broadcast, who provide playout channels for such as NHK, MTV, VH1 and East Africa’s Zuku platform, breaks down a few key requirements to meeting the exacting standards of international content delivery. Know the content – and its owners It is a good policy to allocate a specific Content Coordinator to build and maintain a long-term relationship - not only with the content suppliers but with many client departments such as schedulers, promo producers, subtitlers and rights managers. If you’re required to deal with niche content suppliers then this is best achieved through patient one to one contact. Developing a relationship with the content supplier is important particularly with Hollywood studios such as Lionsgate, Disney, Warner Bros, Sony and Paramount, who regularly audit to ensure their assets are secure. WRN Broadcast is a FACT certified hub for encrypted FTP delivery of international media – which means we are internationally recognised as a trusted content partner. Be territory aware Truly understand your client The customer loves your proposal, your workflow meets their objectives and the clock is counting down to the launch of the service. The Operations team must introduce themselves and start a relationship which will last long beyond the launch phase… Always keep an eye on the bigger picture and make sure your project plan is on track with the client’s timings and targets. Post-launch the goal posts move frequently and experience helps greatly when meeting client expectations. You must understand the client’s operation, the nature of their business and what they are trying to achieve. Hold regular discussions with your client at an operational level. Often the client and content suppliers are in different parts of the globe so an understanding of the differing timings and processes around the world are essential. In addition, it’s important to make sure the content reaching the client’s audience is suitable. Working closely with the client’s compliance team will ensure undesirable material is removed thereby respecting cultural sensitivities or avoiding a possible breach of licence. Workflows are created with the flexibility to allow clients to view browse copies of all content prior to TX and permit remote edits creating a safe version without the hi-res version leaving our facility. Test the workflow Linear playout can vary in its set up requirements from client to client; however the content workflow up to the point at which the material reaches the archive is by necessity entirely bespoke. Push the limits of your MAM system, if you have an individual managing the content, they can offer the client an extra dimension of flexibility and support. It’s all about service delivery Put yourself in your client’s position: accept nothing less than perfect. We offer 99.999% Service Level Agreement (SLA), something other in the industry see as a premium indulgence. Your viewers deserve to see your content – and we consistently surpass this level of delivery. Honesty in reporting when issues do occur goes a long way to maintaining the close client relationship I feel is crucial to a progressive and proactive operation. 58 | TV-BAY MAGAZINE