Broadcast Consulting in Foreign Countries

Mar 17, 2020

Our broadcast consulting team advises media outlets, networks, and digital media companies on a variety of aspects of their business.

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Our broadcast consulting team advises media outlets, networks, and digital media companies on a variety of aspects of their business. We evaluate existing production technology and workflows to staffing levels and expansion plans. Many of our consulting engagements are with domestic companies, but we’ve also provided broadcast consulting services in foreign countries.

In 2015, our team spent some time in Karachi, Pakistan to consult on the build-out of a broadcasting and journalism school. The scope of work for this project was similar to other projects with domestic organizations, but there were some key differences that we needed to take into consideration. Here are some of our key takeaways after consulting in a foreign country.

Language Barriers & Terminology

The ability to communicate and articulate your needs is crucial to the success of any consulting engagement. When consulting in foreign countries, it’s important to share a common language or have a translator with an understanding or background in production. Lucky for us, most of our contacts in Pakistan spoke English.

If you’re fortunate enough to share a common language, you must still make sure you’re clear on production terminology. Europeans like to call switchers a ‘vision mixer’ (which, honestly, is kind of catchy) – it’s a small, subtle difference, but it’s important to make sure you’re on the same page. Don’t make assumptions. Double-check with your contacts that you’re talking about the same piece of equipment or that you’re aligned when talking about workflows.

Cultural Differences

When consulting in foreign countries, be sure to educate yourself on your client’s culture. This can be important in successfully communicating with them and help you to avoid committing any embarrassing faux pas. Also, find out how they prefer to communicate. While email is often the default in the States, your client may prefer phone calls or instant messaging. And be sure to account for time zone differences in your communications.

Study up on major cultural and religious holidays. This may impact your ability to get timely responses or cause delays in your timeline.

And be sure to talk to your client about subtle things, like control room layouts. They may prefer configuring things differently than you’re used to. Don’t make assumptions based on how things are traditionally done at home.

Equipment & Tools

When we toured the broadcasting school in Karachi for the first time, it was mid-construction. One of the biggest surprises was seeing how the facility was being finished. All by hand. Meaning none of the construction workers were using power tools. This was a different sight for our team, but not abnormal in the local setting.

Do not expect construction to move at the same pace at which you’re used to.


When consulting in foreign countries, it’s important to plan for redundancies to the best of your ability. Things that we take for granted – like reliable power and internet service – are not guaranteed in certain regions. It’s important to plan for this in advance, and have a contingency for when you’re without power or internet.

If you’re looking for broadcast consulting services – domestically or abroad – contact us any time.

No Comments
  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2018-03-07 21:55:41

    We're glad you found this to be useful, Margaux. Let us know if there's anything we can help with.

  • Margaux Ford Reply
    2018-03-07 05:57:06

    I appreciate the tips on hiring a production staffing company to have more time to focus on the creative aspects of the project. Hiring a production crew is a tedious task, and can take up much of your time. We're currently working on a huge production, and I'll share this article with my boss so he'll consider on delegating the recruitment to a staffing company. I like that you mentioned that staffing company can ensure to have the right team onboard for the project. Thanks!

  • Robert McWilliams Reply
    2017-10-31 19:05:18

    Todd:I have an ad agency in addition to our production company. We put one of our clients on OTT two months ago up in Nevada. Seems to be working!Thanks again for the work earlier this month.Rob

  • Nicole Rohde Reply
    2017-05-27 22:28:45

    Hey Andrew, Any word as to whether or not the Jokers will be back for Comic Con this year? Please let me know. Thanks!!!

  • Aaron Estabrook Reply
    2017-02-23 16:26:57

    I'll be tuning in for sure!

  • David Patton Reply
    2015-01-16 13:16:02

    Interesting blog post Andrew. For those who are nearly ready to cut the cord, but still want access to key channels such as ESPN, I'd recommend checking out Dish Network's new service, Sling TV. It provides access to a handful of channels for $20/month.https://gigaom.com/2015/01/15/sling-tv-details-price-devices-networks-resolution-bandwidth/

  • Andrew Ryback Reply
    2015-01-13 14:44:19

    Go for it! I'll admit that I was a little apprehensive about pulling the plug at first, but honestly, the transition away from DirecTV has been seamless. The only missing link is live sports, but there are a few work arounds depending on what sports you watch. Good luck!

  • Gregory Hart Reply
    2015-01-13 06:35:00

    While I am part of the 55 year old demographic that still has TV boxes and does TV viewing, I do my viewing using DVRs and networked PCs playing video files from an in-home server. I too have noticed that I view a handful of shows on a regular basis and have found various other sources for these shows. And now it has gotten to the point to where I am seriously considering ending my very long relationship with DirecTV and going streaming. Working in the TV industry also helped to open eyes to this as well. This transition from "old" TV is coming and the networks (Les Moonves, I am looking at you!) had better plan for it.

  • Gary Reply
    2013-08-08 09:44:39

    You've left out a HUGE part of this story by not mentioning Howard Stern's effect on the Sharknado buzz! #siris-ly

  • Marybeth Harrison Reply
    2013-08-07 14:46:29

    I can almost hear the theme song from Jaws as I read your post!