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Our Approach to OTT Network Launches

May 23, 2019

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Our broadcast consulting team has launched OTT networks for CBS Sports, Flywheel and a major US brokerage firm. While every project is different – with its own unique challenges – our approach to OTT network launches remains consistent.

Initial Broadcast Consulting

We begin each engagement by listening to the goals and objectives of our clients. Our initial kick-off meeting will clearly define the key success metrics and expectations of our OTT network. It’s important that we understand the direction of your platform or content so we can build a strategy around meeting those goals. From there, we begin to map out a content strategy, develop show formats and organize the right technology in order to get your project off the ground.

Defining Your OTT Distribution

Once we’ve clearly developed the goals and objectives of your new network, we’ll talk distribution. We’ll map out the desired platforms you’d like your network to appear on – whether that’s your own URL, distribution on popular platforms like Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire, or a combination of both. Our consulting team will also present CDN options for the technical backbone and hosting of your OTT network. And finally, we’ll discuss your transmissions plan – how are you getting your signal to your CDN?

Budgeting

During the budgeting phase, we’ll look at two very important aspects of your network: 1. The total projected cost to build, launch and operate your new OTT, and 2. The long-term revenue strategy and ad-sale opportunities. We’ll start by mapping out the cost of the technical equipment needed to support your operation. If you’re building within the confines of an existing building (rather than starting from scratch), we’ll asses what sort of facility upgrades might be needed. This could include things like HVAC, power and data. Once the hard costs have been calculated, we’ll look at what technical labor will be needed to operate your OTT network annually. Depending on your needs, this may include both technical and creative personnel.

The second part of the budgeting puzzle is equally important: how are you going to monetize the network? Our broadcast consulting team will look at the big picture and long-term strategy of the network and present potential ad-sale, sponsorship and content licensing opportunities that may be available.

System Integration

This is the fun part (at least for us) – the physical construction of your OTT network. Once the final equipment list has been signed off on, our system integration team will begin to design, engineer and diagram the technical layout of your facility. This includes everything from CAD drawings, cable lists, rack diagrams, control room layouts and more. Once all technical equipment has been procured, our engineering team will get to work on the installation.

Content Development

Much of the focus thus far has been on technology and strategy. But a key component to a successful OTT network is viewership. Our creative services team can help you with show format development and content creation that will drive viewership and engagement. Beyond the show formats themselves, we can assist with the design and development of graphics packages for the network as a whole, and for each individual show on your network. Our creative team can also help with pre-launch promotions, like sizzle reels and teasers.

Production Staffing

For OTT network launches, many of the organizations we work with do not have enough full-time staff the support the ongoing operation from both a technical and creative perspective. This is where our production staffing services come in handy. We can provide recruitment-based production staffing services, in which we’ll help you recruit the right technical team for your OTT network, or outsourced production staffing, in which BMG provides all needed personnel on an ongoing basis. Our staffing team can also help train and coach on-air talent.

Operations

With your facility built and your production personnel in place, it’s time to take off the training wheels. We recommend several weeks of rehearsals prior to the full launch and worldwide distribution of your network. This gives your team time to get familiar with all of the technical equipment, iron out any programming kinks, and refine things like set elements and graphics.

Our broadcast consulting team loves the challenge of an OTT network launch. If you’re looking for support, contact us today – we’d welcome the opportunity to work together.

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!