FOX Networks Group (FNG) Middle East Taps Ericsson for Playout Services

Ericsson has signed an exclusive multi-year contract with FOX Networks Group (FNG) Middle East to provide playout services for three new HD channels. The new channels – FOX Action Movies, FOX Family Movies, and FX – will be broadcast from Ericsson’s broadcast and media services hub in Abu Dhabi and will be available 24 hours a day. The channels will provide innovative entertainment programming, ‘subbed and dubbed’ family oriented programming, drama and comedy programming tailored to a Middle East audience.

EricssonSanjay Raina, General Manager and Vice President of FOX Networks Group Middle East, says: “We have launched these three, sharply defined channels to fill a void in the current Middle East broadcast landscape. FOX Family Movies HD has been designed specially to feature some of the greatest and most beloved family films that are safe for kids and fun for the whole family. FOX Action Movies HD showcases some of the biggest, most popular and iconic action features from around the world. While FX HD breaks new ground with high-quality drama series, edgy movies and unconventional series. We’re pleased to extend our relationship with Ericsson, our trusted partners for playout services in the region.”

Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson, says: “Our global expertise and extensive experience in managing complex playout operations, combined with the local know-how of our Abu Dhabi based team, makes us the partner of choice for many TV and media organizations across the region. We have a long and very positive relationship with FOX in several parts of the world, and we look forward to strengthening this further still in the years to come.”

The new FOX HD channels join the growing portfolio of TV channels managed by Ericsson from its hub, which include four FOX channels – FOX Movies, FOX, STAR Movies and STAR World – as well as a number of local and international channels including Quest Arabiya, the joint venture between Image Nation and Discovery Communications, and Clouds TV.

In 2015, Ericsson announced a partnership with twofour54, the home of Abu Dhabi’s media industry. As part of this partnership, Ericsson established a broadcast and media services hub in Abu Dhabi to serve clients across the Middle East and beyond. The hub also provides a local base for Ericsson to deliver its leading portfolio of services in content management, over-the-top (OTT), content discovery, metadata, creative and access services to clients across the Middle East region and beyond.

New Zealand Parliament Selects Ericsson for Live Captioning Services
In other Ericsson news, the company has won an exclusive multi-year access services contract with the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives in New Zealand. The contract will see Ericsson remotely deliver live captioning services for the Parliament TV broadcasts of the sittings of the New Zealand House of Representatives. The new captioning service will be available on Parliament TV for the first time from August 2016.

David Wilson, Clerk of the House of Representatives, says “One in nine people in New Zealand uses captions when watching TV content. So providing live captioning for our Parliament TV audience is a significant advance towards making Parliament’s information even more accessible. As a result live captioning will enable more people in our communities to be informed about and involved in the work of their Parliament.”

Thorsten Sauer, Head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson, says: “This contract to provide captioning to the New Zealand Parliament is an important win for Ericsson and marks the first time that we will be delivering our world-class captioning service to New Zealand. At Ericsson, we believe that content should be accessible by everyone, especially content that is integral to shaping a country’s future and the lives of its citizens. We remain committed to investing in technology and innovation to ensure we deliver the very highest levels of service and quality to both our clients and their audiences and we look forward to building a long and successful partnership in the years to come.”

In March, Ericsson announced multi-year captioning contracts with Australian public service broadcasters, ABC and SBS. In November, Ericsson also announced a multi-year news captioning contract with ANC, Australia’s leading 24-hour multi-channel, multi-platform news service provider. As part of the contract, Ericsson provides captioning services for SKY NEWS-produced bulletins on Qantas flights.

Ericsson‘s closed captioning business is one of the largest in the world, with hubs in Australia, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the US. Ericsson has been providing captioning services for over 30 years and delivers 230,000 hours of captions every year, 100,000 of which are live. It is also the world’s largest provider of TV audio description and sign-language translation.

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