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TBS to digitise assets, bring transmission in house

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MUMBAI: Turner Broadcasting System Europe (TBS) Limited is all set to bring transmission in house after doing a review of all strategic options for the future of the playout of its entertainment channels.

The decision comes in the wake of company's initiative to digitise its assets and will involve building a new facility and hiring 40 additional staff members at its Great London headquarters.

Almost 12,000 hours worth of company's entertainment content including films and cartoons for Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Toonami and TCM will be digitised, enabling Turner's network of channels throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to be broadcast from video servers under automated control.

The new facility is scheduled to launch on 1 January 2006, replacing the company's existing tape playout services from Ascent Media. It is the start of a project which will allow electronic delivery of films, cartoons and advertisements, facilitate the addition of new channels and ultimately enable staff to browse assets on their desktops.

"Digitising the library will put Turner in a strong position to take advantage of emerging revenue streams and new work flows such as VoD, broadband, mobile and integrated playout and production. We have been extremely satisfied with Ascent's service but bringing the system in-house will give us total control and flexibility over the entire channel creation process," said Turner Entertainment Networks senior vice-president and general manager Tina McCann.

McCann is leading this project with the company's network operations vice-president Gabby Redfern and engineering vice-president Steve Fish.

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