InDemand, Comcast Media Center to Provide Technical Support for Pac-12 Networks
InDemand will team with Comcast Media Center to supply an array of technical support for the kickoff of the Pac-12 Networks in August.
Coordinating their efforts across distribution, on demand and TV Everywhere applications, InDemand and Comcast Media Center will work on Pac-12 Networks' seven linear feeds - a national offering, plus six regional networks each tied to a pair of the conference's 12 schools - that will encompass hundreds of live sporting events and related programming. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The Pac-12 Conference last July that it would launch the seven channels, including six regionals mapping the conference footprint: in Northern California (Stanford and Cal); Southern California (USC and UCLA); Oregon (Oregon State and Oregon); Washington (Washington State and Washington); Arizona (Arizona State and Arizona); and Mountain (Utah and Colorado) areas.
Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications, which together own InDemand, have all made distribution commitments to the TV services, as well as a broadband offering.
"It's hard not to be impressed by the experience and expertise that In Demand and the Comcast Media Center have in delivering network distribution," said Gary Stevenson president of Pac-12 Enterprises in a statement. "We needed a partner that could help us manage the challenges that come with building seven networks. With all of their network distribution experience, particularly in sports, it really was an ideal fit for us."
In addition to providing network distribution, InDemand and CMC, a subsidiary of Comcast Cable, will provide a free- on-demand package of content comprising about 20 hours per month, plus a TV Everywhere solution.
The infrastructure of their linear network technical distribution services runs through fiber connectivity between the Pac-12 studio in San Francisco, plus all 12 of its member universities and the CMC in Denver; master control origination services through CMC; compression and satellite front-haul services; satellite receiver authorizations; and disaster recovery.
In Demand and CMC, which have collaborated over the past 14 years on infrastructure solutions for multiple live sports and other pay-per-view telecasts on behalf of their owners and myriad cable clients, are also responsible for staffing to man the technical operations.
Last year, the parties completed a rebuild of their new HD live-event environment and an MPEG-4 HD distribution platform. CMC currently provides In Demand with an end-to-end content management solution for its channels, including multichannel network origination, traffic management, sports origination and transmission. As such, CMC helps InDemand's delivery of more than 10,000 live sports and PPV event feeds, encompassing some 30,000 hours, annually.
"The Pac-12 Networks is an innovative collegiate TV concept which will serve not only the 12 schools but will connect them to the broader communities around the country," said Bob Benya, president and CEO of InDemand. "We and the CMC are honored to bring our joint technical expertise to the launch pad of this significant programming venture."
Noted Richard Buchanan, vice president and general manager, Content Services for Comcast Media Center: "In Demand and Comcast Media Center have a proven history of outstanding collaborative work, conducted over the years by our engineering and network teams. We are looking forward to putting the expertise of our combined capabilities to work for the Pac-12 Networks and affiliates."
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By Kent Gibbons