M+E Daily

Sony DADC Nets Digital Supply Chain Deal With BBC Worldwide

Sony DADC is set to provide encoding, digital fulfillment, and other services to BBC Worldwide under a new global asset management deal, as the British broadcaster looks to market more of its programming on emerging digital platforms.

BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster’s commercial arm, already has a global syndication partnership with iTunes as well as regional deals with the likes of Netflix and Amazon in the U.S. and China’s Sohu.com. The company, which currently licenses 74,000 hours of programming annually across all platforms, says the agreement with Sony DADC will help it meet both an increase in consumer demand and pressures to reduce time-to-market across territories.

“To maintain optimal business performance, we want to deliver more content to all of our partners faster,” says Abigail Hughes, BBC Worldwide’s senior vice president of sales operations and digital distribution, in a statement.

Using Sony DADC’s asset management system, BBC Worldwide staff will gain visibility into availability of programs for particular markets. The system also will facilitate the company’s interactions with various strategic partners, vendors, post-production companies, and distributors.

Andy Shenkler, Sony DADC’s executive vice president of operations and business strategy, tells M&E Daily that the company’s solution enables automated fulfillment of asset requests, thanks in part to a “more rigorous materials analysis and content validation procedure during the ingest stages.” The overall approach, Shenkler says, is designed to limit “the errors that plague manual processes that can’t scale in supporting the type of growth that is currently forecasted.”

Under the services agreement, Sony DADC also will help BBC Worldwide ensure that its own internal asset management processes are “bedded down and as efficient as possible,” Shenkler adds. The deal excludes management of physical media assets, although Shenkler notes that “the transformation and delivery of those assets [as digital content] can and will be managed to some extent through this solution.”

Recent digital initiatives at BBC Worldwide include the launch of a paid video-on-demand service for the TV series “Top Gear” on Facebook. Fans of the show throughout Europe as well as the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand will be able to rent special episodes of the car-focused series using Facebook credits.

Sony DADC “will certainly be involved in preparing and delivering content” for such platforms as Facebook, says Shenkler, when the global asset management system goes live for BBC Worldwide later this year.