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YIR: Globecast Worldwide
by Christian Pinon, Chairman & CEO

2008: Despite the current economic climate, GlobeCast has managed to grow by more than 5 percent pro forma this year. This is a significant achievement in a period when everybody in the industry is aware that signs of downturn could have a negative impact. Additions to our fiber and satellite network and this summer’s Beijing Olympics have contributed to significant growth in both our distribution and contribution activities.

On a regional level, Asia has seen the most dramatic growth, with a 25 percent rise in revenue resulting from both the Olympics and the general dynamism and growth that is continuing in that part of the world. Growth in regions where we are more established, including the U.S., has been more moderate compared with the fast-growing Asian market. This represents a significant success for GlobeCast considering its current market position and the growth we have seen in these regions over the last few years. This success derives from our increased global presence, our network agnostic offering and our ability to add more value to the traditional offer of content distribution.

Our industry is always innovative and exciting, and although we have not seen significant changes in terms of new technology, we have witnessed the predicted rise in HD transmissions across the board. From a business perspective, GlobeCast has made many advances in the range of services we offer. This year there have been two major acquisitions; the first was NETIA in France, which develops software for content management applications. This is going to be a huge benefit as we offer an increasing level of IP-driven content management solutions in addition to our traditional content delivery services.

The second acquisition was of PCM in Hong Kong, which brings a dynamic team and a world-class teleport to our global operation, providing another great opportunity for GlobeCast to tap into the Asian market. Finally, we noted a significant demand from broadcasters that want to outsource their playout to us. For that reason, we updated and modernized our playout center in London, and built a brand new playout center within our Singapore regional headquarters. Combined with the origination and playout services we offer from Florida, this means that we are now playing out channels on three continents.

2009: In 2009 TV specifically, TV distribution will be the only driver for market growth. Innovations (Ka, mobile) will materialize, technically speaking, but this technological push will not trigger significant additional growth.

Historical trends will be confirmed, meaning that the GEO satellite industry will be increasingly dependant on the television market, where growth will remain strongly correlated to the global economic growth.

GlobeCast will maintain its strategy for global growth, maximize the benefits of its recently-acquired Hong Kong-based subsidiary, and as its latest initiative, invest more in Latin America. We are pursuing new platforms on alternative satellites and expanding our fiber network towards Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America. And thanks to the additional technical expertise we have acquired from NETIA, we will become more of a value-added service provider. Assuming we continue to grow our market share, this strategy will enable the company to maintain its 5 percent growth trend and this time next year we will be reporting another successful 12 months at GlobeCast.

About the author
Christian Pinon joined GlobeCast on January 1, 2000. Prior to this appointment, he spent 12 years at Alcatel, in the field of radio and satellite transmissions, where he was Chairman and CEO of Alcatel Telspace. He began his career at France Telecom, working in the Industrial and International Affairs Division, and later the Finance Division from 1979 to 1984. He then spent two years at the French Post Office Organisation as an adviser to the General Postmaster.

About the company
GlobeCast, a subsidiary of France Telecom, is a global provider of content management and worldwide transmission services for professional broadcast delivery. The company operates a secure global satellite and fibre network to manage and transport 10 million hours of video and other rich media each year, providing ingest, aggregation, transmission and repurposing of content for delivery to direct-to-home satellite platforms; cable, IPTV, mobile and broadband headends; as well as corporate and digital signage networks. GlobeCast’s fleet of SNG trucks is deployed globally to support coverage of the biggest news and sporting events each year in SD and HDTV formats. The company has 12 teleports as well as technical operations centers and 18 offices in Europe, North and Latin America, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia.