Since the launch of its flagship news channel in 2005, Moscow-based RT (formerly Russia Today) has grown to include five international TV channels, a video agency and a massive new media presence, expanding its reach to 630 million people across five continents. Known for being an alternative voice on the news media landscape, RT has built a worldwide audience that expects breaking stories, sharp insight and professional presentation from the network.
The broadcaster’s rapid growth brought burgeoning challenges. It had outgrown its legacy production facility, which was never intended to accommodate either the multimedia, round-the-clock broadcasts in English, Arabic and Spanish, or its 2000 staff members. The broadcaster’s technological base, too, had become inadequate for efficient management and exchange of data between multiple channels and delivery platforms. Finally, it was essential for RT to switch all of its broadcasts to HD in order to remain an industry leader.
The goal was set: to create a brand-new, state-of-the-art studio complex that would accommodate the network’s five current and potential future channels, as well as streamline the information exchange between a number of old media and new media platforms; to do this in the shortest possible time; and to seamlessly migrate the round-the-clock broadcasts to HD in real time, without any disruptions for the audience.
Consolidation and repurposing
RT asked systems integrator Okno-TV to develop the new space practically from the ground up and outlined several essential requirements. All routine operations had to be optimized and made uniform across the entire facility. Efficient media repurposing had to be enabled. The broadcaster uses more than 40 incoming satellite and terrestrial feeds. It needed a centralized ingest with a unified descriptive scheme and on-demand distribution to production teams and facilities.
Furthermore, RT does not simply dub its stories into multiple languages; it also reworks and reformats ready-to-air materials for specific regions, as well as for websites, social media and free video portals.
Okno-TV’s experts were tasked with finding an innovative solution that would enable RT, and especially its new media team, to publish news packages and their descriptive data directly from the broadcaster’s production systems to those portals.