Big Ten Hands Off Videos To Comcast's ThePlatform
ThePlatform, Comcast's white-label video publishing subsidiary, has been selected to manage and publish online video for the Big Ten Network.
Specifically, thePlatform will provide centralized back-end management support for two key video initiatives, one aimed at serving international audiences outside the U.S. and Canada and the other serving domestic sports fans.
The Big Ten Network, a joint venture between Fox Cable Networks and subsidiaries of the Big Ten Conference, is a nationally distributed network dedicated to covering the collegiate conference.
The move is part of a larger effort to expand its "online video efforts to serve the fans of the Big Ten Network worldwide," said Michael Calderon, director of new media for Big Ten Network.
For international fans, the Big Ten Network will use thePlatform's media publishing system to manage its new international streaming package, the "Big Ten Ticket."
All televised Big Ten Network football and men's basketball games will be available live and on-demand online to viewers living outside of the United States, Canada and the Caribbean on www. BigTenTicket.com.
The Big Ten Network is expected to televise between 35 and 40 football games and 105 regular-season men's basketball games, plus three Big Ten Tournament games, in 2009-10.
For North American audiences, thePlatform's media publishing system will also support the Big Ten Network's webcast of other sports video for the fans of the University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University, and University of Wisconsin.
While thePlatform faces many rivals -- including Brightcove, Veeple, PermissionTV, and Vimeo -- its biggest competition comes from the in-house platforms that publishers decide to build themselves. Working in thePlatform's favor, therefore, is the increasingly complex syndication landscape, according to Marty Roberts, vice president of marketing for thePlatform.
"Media companies want the flexibility to integrate and test new technologies," said Roberts. "Our role is to make online video publishing a seamless process."
Founded in 2000, thePlatform services many top video syndicators, including the BBC, CNBC, PBS and Gannett (including USA Today).
Late last year, The Associated Press selected thePlatform to serve as its central back-end management system for publishing video across some 2,000 affiliate and syndication partner sites. The move was expected to help network affiliates better showcase their news video as well as to offer higher video quality.
About 80 companies now participate in thePlatform Framework, which spans the world of online video, including ad campaign management systems, ad sales networks, analytics and reporting, content delivery networks, content protection, media formats, transcoding engines, payment processors, syndication outlets, and video search.