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GlobeCast expands IMG contract, WRN wins Zuku deal

Media services provider GlobeCast has renewed and expanded its contract with IMG Sports Media Production with a three-year deal to provide HD coverage of up to six English Premier League football matches per week and a highlights package to right-holders in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

GlobeCast has invested in new MPEG-4 equipment at its two UK sites to provide the additional coverage, and has installed dual dark fibres, channelised to take sixteen HDSDI feeds, between IMG and their technical operations centre in central London.

The link, which can receive up to eight simultaneous redundant feeds, has enabled GlobeCast to take all matches in uncompressed high-definition before multiplexing them with MPEG-4 compression through an Ericsson nCompass 6 multiplexer for delivery to satellite.

For broadcast across Asia and Europe all six feeds are uplinked to the IS904 and W2A satellites respectively for downlink by rights-holders across the region. For the Americas, feeds are converted using Snell & Wilcox HD Alchemist frame-rate converters, before being uplinked to Intelsat’s IS9 satellite. Several match feeds are also being sent via the GlobeCast Backbone Network for playout in Hong Kong.

Separately, London-based broadcast services provider WRN Broadcast has secured a contract to manage and playout TV channels, six of which will be available in both SD and HD, for Wananchi Group Holdings’ (WGH) triple-play Zuku platform in East Africa.

WRN Broadcast will be responsible for the playout, multiplexing and distribution of 34 of Zuku’s 100-plus channels, with the ingest and content management of Zuku’s premium channels, including the six HD channels, also taking place at its media centre. The HD channels will be split across Zuku’s eight movie channels, in addition to Zuku Life, Zuku Afrika and Zuku Sports.