Interview: Telstra Broadcast Services delivers exceptional content around the world

Broadcast Film & Video speaks exclusively to Carlos Farias, Head of Market Development at Telstra. He discusses how the firm has been delivering international remote production through its networks for content creators to reduce production costs and environmental impacts.

Telstra Broadcast Services continues to help deliver exceptional content around the globe. How is the company coping during these challenging times? How have you seen a change in demand from clients and customers? How have you assisted and supported clients in these times? 

The Telstra Broadcast Services team has come together during these challenging times to support each other, as well as our customers. We have also seen the entire industry support new ways of working to navigate the challenges presented by the Covid-19 crisis. It’s been remarkable to see the innovations we can achieve together to help those across the media, sports and entertainment businesses most impacted, such as freelancers and small business owners.

Our global media networks are continually being advanced in order to deliver a premium service that meets business needs, especially during times of crisis. Since 2017, Telstra has been delivering international remote production through our networks for content creators to reduce production costs and environmental impacts. Due to the travel bans and restrictions as well as the impact on freight delivery for equipment, there has been an increased demand in our remote production services, especially now that production is beginning to open up. 

Telstra Broadcast Services has a diversified product and solution portfolio so while we have paused live sports work, we are seeing a positive spike in other areas of our business, such as video games and esports, Direct to Consumer (D2C) traffic, online and streaming services, and core connectivity and IP Transit and IP Peering services.

It has been interesting to see the change in demand in esports through the pandemic. Esports has become more important than ever, and is being seen in a new light by many as a viable business opportunity and channel that companies are not only recognising, but aggressively going after.

In terms of production, technology is empowering broadcasters to provide new experiences to their viewers. How can the company help broadcasters deliver content to more places? 

We’re currently seeing a majority of broadcasters cost cutting due to a variety of factors, including lack of advertising spend and the upswing of SVOD and OTT services, yet they must reduce spend without reducing the experience viewers are used to. Therefore, cost reduction business models and delivery mechanisms are paramount, and will likely continue to be essential. 

Remote Production has the ability to create more content for less by centralising the production to one, or a few, ‘Hubs’. With a Hub, more content is produced by the best talent across multiple events yielding an estimated 10-20 percent cost reduction across each event, which can be put into Tier 2 and Tier 3 sport production or sponsorship.

This year Telstra also announced it has further invested in its Global Media Network (GMN)with technology advancements and partnerships to meet the needs of the broadcast industry. Can you tell me more about this?

Our Telstra Global Media Network distributes high-quality, high-value, live and linear video for customers and partners via global satellite and fibre networks (on-network). This year, we have expanded media delivery reach by providing a secure gateway from “on-network” Telstra GMN media rights holders to “off-network” internet connected media buyers.

This is known as GMN Express. An internet media delivery solution which provides a significant infill opportunity for our customers who wish to take additional content outside of fibre and satellite-based connectivity. Also, building upon our telecommunications infrastructure, the Telstra GMN Media Data amalgamates data traffics into one highly available network with an advanced service and support offering.

Following the cancellation of NAB and IBC this year, how important are trade shows to Telstra Broadcast Services?

Tradeshows are a key part of our calendar year. These particular tradeshows have supported us greatly in getting our messaging out to the industry. It was five years ago at IBC where we first announced Telstra’s acquisition of Globecast Australia to form a new business unit, us! Telstra Broadcast Services.

We have been, most likely similarly to every company that hosts a booth at these trade shows, looking into creative ways to keep the conversation going around our projects and news despite the cancellations. We always have something to talk about, and want to share our technology advancements and market success with our customers and peers, who we will miss seeing in person this year.  

What can we expect from Telstra Broadcasting Services in the future? 

We are very much looking forward to resuming our services to the live sports and eventually, the special events business. Despite the global crisis, we have been at the forefront of supporting the industry’s acceleration in terms of new technology and workflows in remote production, ensuring our international remote production capabilities support broadcasters and content creators in multiple regions. 

As always, the future is likely to see us continue to increase the reach of the Telstra Global Media Network as we gain new partners around the world. We are also putting a central focus on Telstra’s increasing 5G build, in order to better support the media industry, and bring new and engaging broadcast experiences to viewers at home.