Industry Insights: Production changes expected this fall due to coronavirus

By NewscastStudio

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We recently gathered a panel of broadcast industry veterans to look at the year ahead. In this final installment of our coronavirus-focused Industry Insights panel, our group tells us what to look for in the fall as some broadcast production and sports leagues return.


Make sure to read the earlier part of our coronavirus-focused Industry Insights series:


What changes do you expect to see in the broadcast industry this fall due to the state of the world?

“As Dr. Anthony Fauci has famously said, ‘the virus is the clock’ – meaning the coronavirus has its own schedule. It’s impossible to predict what the world will look like by fall, but I think we can safely assume that remote production workflows aren’t going away any time soon,” said Namdev Lisman of Primestream.

“It’s really hard to make any short-term predictions, given the uncertainty of the pandemic and the timescales around returning to normal. Given the massive disruption of the media and entertainment industry by the coronavirus, we doubt seriously that the broadcast industry will have any sense of normalcy by fall. And longer-term, our industry might be fundamentally changed forever,” said Veritone’s David Candler.

“For the past few years, we have already been moving from a world of one-off custom deployments towards fast-start cloud-centric solutions that can be configured or even customized without necessarily involving the vendor. That move would appear to be accelerating as the potential for those solutions to be rapidly scaled, both up and down, will enable media companies to respond rapidly to what will undoubtedly remain a dynamic situation for at least the next 18 months,” Ben Davenport told us. He’s a portfolio manager for Vidispine/Arvato Systems.

“Given the smaller or even non-existent physical audiences, I expect there will be an emphasis on packages and other supporting production elements. You will see changes in award shows, late-night TV, and political debates. Sports will certainly be impacted. I wonder if any of these content producers will pursue remote attendee feedback. If you can access reactions from fans across the country, will you add their cheers to the broadcast – or even pipe them into the stadium for the players? As always, we’re going to see many creative challenges and solutions,” said Dave Van Hoy, president at Advanced Systems Group.

“We are sure to see a rise in the adoption of both domestic and international remote production this fall. Before the coronavirus, international remote production was slow to adopt as traditional delivery models were favored given the assumption of being the most cost-effective option. The countries with a large amount of live sports production have been heavily impacted by coronavirus and remote production provides a good, trusted alternative,” said Ricardo Rodrigues, head of business development in the Americas for Telstra Broadcast Services.

“On the vendor side, some suppliers may find themselves well placed to secure investment for future development to support the broadcast and media industry as it emerges from the crisis. For the end-user community, I would expect a renewed focus on disaster recovery, business continuity and remote working, with increased investment in redundant solutions. At the same time, there will be a requirement to kick start productions which have had to pause for the duration of the crisis. It’s going to be a busy time for both suppliers and end users,” explained Peter Mayhead, CEO of Pebble Beach Systems.

“2020 has come with a very unique set of challenges for broadcasters, and this may well continue with staff confined to their homes, and entire businesses working remotely. Remote delivery has somewhat become the norm, and we could see an increase in cloud-based remote workflows, and an increase in solutions to help journalists be more effective regardless of location,” said Michael Pfitzner, CGI’s vice president of newsroom solutions.

“With global sports and entertainment events postponed or canceled this year, the drastic effect on planned programming for broadcasters is evident, and effectively putting pressure on production timelines. eSports is a likely answer to fill in many of the scheduling gaps due to its popularity, with Formula 1 and the National Hockey League already hosting virtual competitions featuring real drivers and players. More and more programming is also following suit, finding ways of delivering virtual alternatives to the norm; some of which may even end up remaining on schedules in a post-lockdown economy, if proving popular with audiences,” said Tom Rockhill, CSO for Disguise.

“Traditional broadcasters have to once more reinvent how they generate revenue. With inevitable decline in certain advertising, being able to secure a steady flow of income. This will be further exacerbated by the reduction in production, so coming up with creative way to generate new content will also be key,” explained Mediaproxy’s CEO Erik Otto.

“The changes in media production and distribution are already happening now and will only accelerate as the year progresses as stations move rapidly from traditional hardware and software to cloud-based solutions. Not only have the shift from studio to remote locations necessitated seismic changes in the broadcast industry, but the negative impact that the coronavirus has had on traditional revenue models are also contributing to the acceleration of this transformation. We should expect to see new monetization methods and content distribution methods emerging later in the year as the media supply chain which includes content acquisition, indexing, production, distribution and management increasingly moves to the cloud. We at TVU have been working with our customers for some time on developing IP and cloud technologies and solutions, and many of them globally are already taking advantage of our platform,” said Paul Shen of TVU Networks.

Participants

Namdev Lisman – Primestream
David Candler – Veritone
Ben Davenport – Vidispine/Arvato Systems
Dave Van Hoy – Advanced Systems Group
Ricardo Rodrigues – Telstra Broadcast Services
Peter Mayhead – Pebble Beach Systems
Michael Pfitzner – CGI
Tom Rockhill – Disguise
Erik Otto – Mediaproxy
Paul Shen – TVU Networks