Combining Satellite and IP for Revenue Growth and Reach

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Blog Post

Broadcast market growth is seen within both new and existing regions. The overall increase in demand for content stems from the popularity of linear TV, combined with an increasing desire for on-demand content. 

Within the broadcast ecosystem, satellite has sat comfortably for many years due to its wide reach and ability to deliver high bitrate feeds. Its suitability has been reflected through its adoption; it has been used for decades and extensive infrastructure is in place to transport footage to huge audiences globally. However, content comes at a price; transporting and delivering feeds to takers can quickly become an expensive task.  

As consumers demand changes and more content is expected, can other technologies be utilised to broaden the variety of viewing? And how do content owners react to the increasing pressure to deliver video to takers in a more cost-effective manner, with emphasis placed on maximising reach?

Where Satellite Makes Sense

Satellite continues to be the right choice for large, tier one events with hundreds of takers. For example, the world feed for the Olympics is well-suited to satellite; many rights holders are receiving the content and the delivery of a high bitrate format enables the repurposing of feeds. 

However, the cost of satellite capacity and its technical infrastructure such as booking trucks for events can be limiting. Ultimately the cost is passed on to those buying the rights and therefore the content proven to be most popular (and consequently low risk) will be prioritised. However, customers are demanding more and do not want limited coverage. The age of constant connectivity means that broadcasters need to deliver a broader scope of programming – delivering this content clearly offers a commercial opportunity and reduces the need for audiences to look elsewhere for sports event coverage. But how can broadcasters reduce the financial risks of providing audiences with more?

How IP and Satellite can be Combined

IP can be utilised interchangeably with satellite within broadcast structures, to deliver professional-grade quality content to consumers at a lower cost. For example, if the main transmission of the Olympic world feed starts at 14:00, most broadcasters would look to mirror this in their scheduled programming. However, could there be commercial value in having a mixed schedule in which the programme starts at 09:00 and shows wider coverage from the event? Transporting this supplementary content via IP, reduces costs and creates an attractive opportunity. Customers are happy as they have more content available to them and the financial risk taken by the broadcaster is reduced. 

Beyond enabling broadcasters to widen how much content they provide to their audiences; IP can also enable broadcasters to reach audiences in new regions. Satellite can be limited when reaching remote regions; due to logistical complexities, as it can sometimes rely on multiple hops to reach its destination. This can become expensive and impact on the commercial viability of transporting the content to the remote destination. This is another instance in which IP can enhance the existing content delivery network and enable broadcasters to access new markets. IP services can incorporate connectivity features, such as including downlink, cross-connects and teleport facilities, to strengthen resilience within the ecosystem and deliver cost-effective content to takers. 

A Next Generation Content Delivery Network

Building robust and comprehensive content networks will enhance the services delivered to customers. Having a broad understanding of the options available when distributing video content will ensure that broadcasters are not limiting themselves with the technology being utilised. Satellite is an established heavyweight within broadcasting, however pairing it with IP can enable fresh opportunities for broadcasters.  

By enhancing the content delivery network, new and traditional workflows can work together and provide new commercial opportunities. Broadening the availability of content, and ultimately improving customer experiences. 

Cerberus Tech’s reliable, interoperable, global content delivery network for channels, sports, live events, and production is ready to take your content to new markets. Find out more about how our IP solution, Livelink, can fit seamlessly into your broadcast contribution and distribution workflows.