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NAB: Sinclair Inks Major Deal With Harris

Complete Coverage: 2012 NAB Show

Sinclair Broadcast Group has renewed its contact with Harris for its OSi media software solutions. As part of the new long-term deal, it is expanded the use of the software to 73 stations in 37 markets and will be deploying new functions that the station group hopes will improve its sales efforts.

In an interview, Del Parks, VP of engineering and operations, Sinclair Television Group noted that they have already deployed the sales software at the newly acquired stations Sinclair purchased from Four Point and Freedom Communications. Both deals closed this year.

As part of that transition, the newer stations are moving to OSi-Traffic and OSi-AdConnections media software.

The company will later install Harris NetGain business intelligence and analysis software at all the stations.

Sinclair had been using the Harris' OSI media software since 2004. Prior to the switch to OSi, the Four Point Systems had been using VCI, which was bought by WideOrbit and the Freedom stations had used WideOrbit.

Having all of the stations on the same OSi software had been important over the years in improving the efficiency of their sales and back office efforts, Del Park noted.

So, moving the newly acquired stations over to a common system would be an important step in integrating their operations, Del Parks noted. "It is very critical for us that we have all of our stations on one platform," he explained.

"The traffic and billing system is kind of like a neural network that runs your company," he added. "It sends the message back and forth and tells the heart how fast to beat. It is really a very important tool inside the stations so renewing this contract was a very big deal for us."

Sinclair established hubs for its traffic operations several years ago. As part of moving the new stations to OSi, Sinclair added its sixth hub and redistributed the stations to different hubs.

Sinclair is also upgrading all of its stations to Harris NetGain business intelligence and analysis software, which will provide business analytics, monitoring and reporting that is fully integrated into the system.

Overall the upgrades will provide Sinclair's management and sales staff with more efficient and flexible tools, Del Parks noted. "Having more efficient software with better tools will allow the sales staff to be more efficient," he notes.

In making the upgrades Del Parks praised both Sinclair's internal teams and Harris for making the transition of the new stations to OSi go so smoothly. "We are lucky to have a partner like Harris who understand our business and can work with us to make these implementations happen fairly quickly," he said.