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Comcast extends video tech playbook to EMEAComcast extends video tech playbook to EMEA

Comcast Technology Solutions has planted its flag in the EMEA region with a cloud-based, managed channel origination service powered by Sky's regional infrastructure and operations.

Jeff Baumgartner

September 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Close up image of the Comcast logo on a building
(Source: Comcast)

Comcast Technology Solutions (CTS) broadened its international reach this week with the launch of a cloud-based, managed channel origination service focused on the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region.

Timed with this week's IBC show in Amsterdam, CTS' launch is underpinned by the regional presence of Comcast-owned Sky in EMEA. That presence includes regional infrastructure and operations, with video technologies and platforms from CTS that are already in commercial use at Comcast, Sky and NBCUniversal, along with an array of third-party partners such as Starz, Epix, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League.

The new cloud-based offering is focused on the creation, management and distribution of live TV for traditional linear TV services, along with new streaming-based models. In addition to being agnostic with respect to channel origination and distribution, CTS expects its expansion in EMEA to focus heavily on sports content.

The launch builds on CTS' efforts to broaden the scope of its suite of products. CTS is also equipped with a cloud video platform that supports more than 90 million households outside the Comcast and Sky footprint; a video-on-demand processing offering; a content delivery network (CDN) that resells delivery, origin and storage; and AdFusion, a platform that handles transcoding and metadata management needed for ad delivery. CTS also is the conduit for Comcast's X1 syndication program.

Related:Comcast unit pitches 'VideoAI' service

The move into the EMEA region should also improve CTS' competitive footing against other companies that provide managed channel origination services such as Globecast, Red Bee Media and Encompass.

Drawn into the region

CTS decided to expand in the region after various programmers, media companies and distributors sought out ways to purchase some of the company's managed channel origination capabilities, said Bart Spriester, SVP and GM of streaming, broadcast and advertising for CTS.

"The linear TV environment is evolving. Sports is still a critical element of it, but it's highly competitive," he said. "Many content owners are looking at ways to reduce their total cost of ownership."

CTS hasn't announced any new customers since making the bigger move into the region. "But we have been providing services to several third parties," Spriester said. "We're already powering [services] on the same technology stack many channels that are in production today."

The new offering is powered by Sky's operations, but CTS will lead the commercial rollout in the region. CTS has about 3,000 employees, with about 50 supporting EMEA today, according to CTS VP Peter Gibson.

Related:Comcast Technology Solutions offers cloud-powered video-tech across EMEA region

Gibson said CTS will operate the new, managed channel origination service on a monthly service model that can support relatively simple channels and more complex ones, including sports networks that require complex playout technologies and advanced graphics.

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Baumgartner, who previously had served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013, was most recently Senior Content Producer-Technology at Multichannel News, heading up tech coverage for the publication's online and print platforms, and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting & Cable, a sister publication to Multichannel News. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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