MLB Network Expands Grass Valley Partnership with GV STRATUS Installation

MLB Network will install Grass Valley’s GV STRATUS nonlinear media production tools into its production center, which distributes baseball content to approximately 70 million homes. Grass Valley has worked with MLB Network since its launch in 2009 and has already installed multiple Grass Valley K2 HD media servers and most recently in 2012, a second Kayenne Video Production Center switcher. The project is expected to be complete in 2014.

“Maximizing time and resource efficiencies is crucial to the smooth running of a network which airs 24/7,” says Tab Butler, MLB Network’s Director of Media Management and Post Production. “With GV STRATUS, we couple optimizing our production processes to a higher level while reducing our CapEx.”

MLB Network ingests 5,200 hours of content each week. GV STRATUS will form a crucial part of this production chain, offering a versatile software-based platform for nonlinear media production. GV STRATUS supports a variety of processes including ingest, editing, content aggregation, logging, transfer and playout. The nonlinear tools of the solution can be adapted in countless combinations, allowing GV STRATUS to be tailored to specific functional roles within studio production; ideal for a company on the scale of MLB Network. Additionally, MLB Network’s DIAMOND asset management system will be integrated into the K2 Summit servers as well as GV STRATUS to provide enterprise-wide control and management of productions.  Finally, GV STRATUS is coupled with enterprise-level storage furnished by the customer, making it a tool that could be used in many unique installations.

Grass Valley recently updated GV STRATUS to include support for delivery of content to second-screen and multiscreen distribution platforms, tagging of content on the fly, and integration with the GV Edge Integrated Playout System to enable the segmentation of content for promo and commercial insertion.

MLB Network will take advantage of Grass Valley’s flexible approach to pricing by paying a yearly fee for GV STRATUS. This reflects a growing movement in the broadcast industry for vendors to offer a range of options for CapEx and OpEx models. In a recent industry report, Joe Zaller, president of Devoncroft Partners, commented: “People want to move that from CapEx to OpEx-centric model. They don’t really want to own technology if they don’t have to. They want to scale up and down whenever required…”

“Returning customers like MLB Network prove that Grass Valley solutions are number one in the market,” says Tim Thorsteinson, President and CEO of Grass Valley Grass Valley. “We are raising the bar technologically, and also offering fresh business models to our customers so that economic restraints don’t hinder creative output. We look forward to continuing our work with MLB Network to give baseball fans the peerless coverage they expect.”

Grass Valley professional project managers, services engineers and trainers will be involved throughout the project, providing systems integration, training, and ensuring an overall seamless transition to the new solution.