SBJ/August 15-21, 2011/Media

ACC improves content delivery to TV stations

The ACC is starting to use technology to help TV stations access conference highlights and press conferences more easily.

Denver-based Thought Equity Motion is supplying the Web-based platform that will enable local stations to get more timely ACC video content. The technology will replace the old method of sending out press conference interviews and highlights via satellite feed.

“The world of local and national news has changed so much, and we’re trying to do a better job of serving the needs of those stations,” said Scott McBurney, the ACC’s assistant commissioner of advanced media. “We’ve relied on the traditional satellite feed for as long as I can remember, and this will change the dynamic of how we get our message out to media outlets.”

McBurney said TV stations in the ACC’s footprint don’t travel to events as frequently as they used to, and, like newspapers, they have lost resources and suffered staff cutbacks. But it remains vitally important for the conference to have its highlights, interviews and information on those nightly sportscasts.

The content will be available to those outlets in both high definition and standard definition.

The old method of distributing the content via satellite feed was slow and cumbersome. The satellite feed was available only once a week, and it dumped a huge amount of content — sometimes 45 minutes or more — that wasn’t tagged.

As the ACC moves to Thought Equity’s password-protected system, which is similar to retrieving video or photos from an FTP site, highlights and interviews will be broken into smaller segments that can be previewed through a Web browser before being downloaded. The local stations typically use this content to preview games.

The ACC also will be able to update its offering more often rather than making it available once a week. “The end result will hopefully be that it’s used more frequently and in more abundance,” McBurney said.

The ACC’s headquarters and its 12 member schools expect to save money because they won’t be shipping videotapes back and forth to each other. The video service is provided for the media at no cost, but the ACC did not say what the cost would be to Thought Equity — an amount the conference ultimately will pick up.

The conference also anticipates using Thought Equity’s technology to distribute content during the basketball season and for the conference’s championship events in Olympic sports, something it rarely did when it relied on the satellite feed.

“By having access to the ACC’s archives and our ability to quickly digitize it, it opens up a bunch of uses like this,” said Dan Weiner, Thought Equity’s vice president for marketing and products.
 
The new site is expected to be up and running this week.


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