Faced with a growing volume of international sales,
Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution is now using Civolution's media
monitoring service Teletrax to track the studio's films and TV series in
Europe, Australasia and the Middle East.
The studio has deployed the system to help open up new
revenue possibilities, to better promote the launch of its series in
increasingly competitive international TV markets and to combat piracy,
explains Scott Gregg, senior VP of sales operations, international television
distribution, at the division.
Twentieth was one of the first studios to deploy a software
and computer system for its international sales and continues to use a
sophisticated sales system to manage contracts and the syndication of its content
to international markets. But it decided that changes in the international
sales business and the greater volume content meant that it needed to
complement its existing systems with automated international tracking system.
Gregg notes that they had first considered the Teletrax
monitoring system nearly a decade ago.
"At that time, though there wasn't much of a VOD or SVOD
market that hinges directly on tracking when our content aired," he noted.
"That is now an important part of our business...In addition to that we have
grown the volume of our production to the point where we will have over 40
primetime scripted series on every major broadcast network and multiple cable
networks. By the sheer volume of our sales, we needed a more automated way to
instantly track what happened over the last 24 hours, over the last six months
of runs and usage."
As part of the deployment, Twentieth began aggressively
fingerprinting new content and its most popular library fare last December.
"The cost of fingerprinting the content and having it
delivered to Teletrax was inconsequential" and was easily integrated into their
normal workflows for post-production at the studio, Gregg noted.
It will take some time for the studio to see the full impact
of the system because it is only tracking runs of product since its deployment
earlier this year. "The really big bang for the buck is where we have new deals
and we are able to track all of the runs," he noted.
In the meantime, however, the deployment is already
producing a number of advantages.
On the VOD and SVOD side of the business, it allows them to
make certain a show or film was not run too early -- typically series become
available on the midnight of their local broadcast.
Eventually the system will allow them to fully track how
many runs a broadcaster has taken. That could open up additional revenue
opportunities by allowing them to sell broadcasters additional runs if they've
used up all the runs allowed under the contract or to move the product more
quickly into another window.
As Twentieth began to debut more series in international
markets timed to the U.S. broadcast run, much as the studio did earlier this
year with the day and date launch of Touch,
the system will also help them strengthen their promotional and marketing
"It will make it easier to combine ratings, telecast data,
the airing of promotional materials and other information to give our
management a clear picture of what is happening so that we improve the way we
handle premiere events like the launch of Touch,"
The system will also help them combat piracy by being able
to document unauthorized airings. "Several pan-regional Arabic channels began
to pirate studio product [that had been legitimately sold to other
broadcasters] following the Arab Spring," he noted. "Using the system, we were
able to document the violations" and move to protect the studio's content and
the rights of local broadcasters.
Civolution will be demonstrating Teletrax as the 2012 IBC
between Sept. 7 and 11.