2010 has been a great year for RRsat Global Communications Network. We can proudly say that we distribute more than 550 TV and radio channels worldwide and playout more than 130 TV channels. Increased international demand for HD broadcast, the introduction of 3D television and the ever-increasing globalization of sports programming are all areas of the industry in which we have seen noticeable growth and feel the potential for the future. These are also all areas that more and more frequently are overlapping with each other in terms of end user demand and the technology needed to make those broadcast expectations a reality.
2010 has also been a year of important alliances for RRsat. In June, BT’s Media & Broadcast division and RRsat entered into a ten year strategic alliance enabling our customers to benefit from high quality broadcast services over a deeper global reach – as well as being a catalyst to facilitate both companies growth in their global media businesses. The alliance will combine RRsat’s world-class capabilities in content management and global distribution services to the television and radio broadcasting industries over satellite, fiber and IP with BT’s Global Media Network and existing satellite portfolio. In October, RRsat and Chellomedia’s Digital Media Centre (ChelloDMC), one of Europe’s leading providers of digital media facilities, announced a new partnership focused on offering complete global playout and content delivery solutions. DMC and RRsat have combined capabilities and hooked up their networks, through a dedicated fiber connection, to offer a cost effective, global playout and delivery service with a range of global distribution solutions.
RRsat has always viewed global broadcasting from a hybrid perspective. The use of fiber is just as key in our broadcast capabilities as is our extensive satellite network. A number of key connections have been built with some of the largest fiber providers around the world, from BT in Europe to Verizon in the United States and PCCW in Asia, providing RRsat with local network presence everywhere. The value of these relationships could not be better illustrated then the live 3D event which we broadcast with BT this past summer between London and Tel Aviv entirely over fiber in 3D.
RRsat has also focused on building our internal fiber capabilities; this is particularly of note as we expand within the US market. This year marked not only the opening of our 111 8th Ave. POP in New York, but the transformation of our teleport in Hawley Pennsylvania into a full-blown IP head end.
We also worked alongside Eutelsat to broadcast the ten-day sporting event, EuroSport, live in 3D. As 3D technologies in the home expand the demand for sports broadcast in 3D will also increase, holding events such as these with BT and Eutelsat have proven we are capable of providing for these growing expectations. Through our own networks and business relationships RRsat is now able to deliver 3D sporting events (and other 3D broadcasts) any where in the world, whether it be by fiber, satellite, or a combination of both.
In April, RRsat launched iConcertsHD with our DVBS2 platform on the MEASAT 3A satellite. In October, BT and RRsat launched Sky News HD on the same platform. BT and RRsat are providing an end-to-end managed fiber and satellite service using fiber from BT, satellite uplink and teleport services from RRsat and leased capacity on the MEASAT-3A satellite. A fiber network from the BT Global Media Network carries Sky News HD from the Sky News Centre in Osterley, England, to RRSat’s Global Network and teleport facility, where it is uplinked onto the MEASAT 3A satellite and distributed to customers throughout the Middle East and Asia. Additional HD channels were launched by RRsat this year including Fashion TV over Latin America and the first HD channel of Indian Bollywood Movies, launched in Israel.
Other sports events of note include the broadcasting of live HD content in MPEG-4 format for the international broadcast of the 2010 NFL season, the US Open, and the PGA Championship together with our long-term partner, SM2 Sports Media Solutions. In addition, RRsat began the distribution of FOX Sports via the Eurobird-9 satellite in MPEG-4 format providing the FOX Sports Television Group with increased, yet cost-effective, coverage within Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. As demand for live international sporting events grows, MPEG-4 capabilities, particularly those in HD, will be crucial in meeting viewer and client expectations. As a result of sports and news events broadcasting growth, RRsat has now reached 60,000 hours of occasional use programming.
As we have worked on expanding into the North American, South American, and Asian markets we have brought on high level talent to help us meet those goals. Eric Larsen was named the senior director of sales in North America. David Aber was named the Chief Financial Officer. Meidad Katz was hired as the new VP of Engineering and Professional Services and Ziv Mor was promoted to VP of Business Development in addition to his Chief Technology Officer responsibilities. Additionally, Shlomi Izkovitz, Deputy VP for Sales and Marketing, was named as a recipient of The Society of Satellite Professionals International’s 2010 Promise Award.
The coming year is promising to be an even greater one for RRsat. We are on the verge of additional alliances that will make our fiber and satellite reach even greater, specifically within the U.S. We are in the process of building off our accomplishments with 3D and HD broadcast this past year to allow for a larger international access to programming in these formats. Live sports broadcasting in both 3D and HD will be a continued focus of our growth as the demand for it is insatiable. 2010 has been focused on laying the seeds to expansion with 3D, HD, Fiber, Satellite, MPEG-4, DVBS2, (international growth in North America, South America, and Asia, and internal growth in POPs, teleports, and our brain trust, 2011 is set to be the year we take all of these new and extended capabilities and continue to grow them to stay on the edge of broadcasting expectations and demand.