INSINC   NeuLion
CTV Newsnet CTV Newsnet CTV Inc. is Canada's #1 broadcast communications company with conventional television operations across Canada and a leading position in the specialty television sector. CTV Inc. is owned by Bell Globemedia, Canada's premier multi-media company, which also owns The Globe and Mail, Canada's National Newspaper.
     

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The Challenge:

CTV first provided live video streaming in 2000, but the business model was ineffective and CTV scaled back its Internet offering in 2002 to text, downloadable video and streaming audio.

"The cost of giving it away became unsupportable," said CTV.ca executive producer Mark Sikstrom. Unlike television, where it costs the same to broadcast to one viewer or one million, webcasting incurs higher networking fees the greater the traffic. Like many media players with a dream of convergence, CTV realized attracting viewers on the Net in the case of its newscasts, between 30,000 and 50,000 per month - just meant it lost more money.

The INSINC Solution:

INSINC first worked with CTV as the video server for the first season of Canadian Idol in 2003. The hugely successful reality show generated a million video plays, Sikstrom said, but INSINC was up to the challenge.

INSINC's experience with pay-per-view specialty offerings suggested the network could get back into live webcasting on a pay-per-view basis without throwing money away. CNN and ABC were doing the same thing in the U.S., offering a live feed starting at $4.95 US a month.  "What CTV Newsnet was trying to do was target places like offices and expats that can't get the TV version," stated INSINC President, Hugh Dobbie. CTV would provide the news feed, digitized and compressed so as to save network fees, while INSINC would distribute it over its own servers and handle the billing and fulfillment.

Most importantly, this time it was a paid service: $6.95 a month over broadband or $4.95 by dial-up. To sign up, you click on the icon at the main CTV.ca site, give your credit card number and get assigned a username and password to access the content.

 

The Result:

CTV and INSINC entered into an innovative agreement.  Instead of contracting out the service to INSINC for an upfront fee, CTV and INSINC are sharing the revenues.   Subscriptions for CTV Newsnet are increasing month over month and CTV has successfully turned a cost centre into an additional source of revenue.

CTV avoided costly start up charges normally associated with the deployment of pay-per-view video processing and security infrastructures and was able to participate in a no-risk venture that provided them with a timely ROI.