Video services provider Simplestream has been selected by A+E Networks UK to provide TV Everywhere distribution services for its new UK free-to-air channel Blaze.
Blaze is a free-to-air channel that debuted in the UK and Ireland on 20 September 2016 on Freeview and Sky with programming that includes American Restoration, The First 48, Mountain Men, Pawn Stars and Unusual Suspects. The channel is now also available on Freesat.
To extend its reach further and maximise consumer engagement, A+E Networks is utilising Simplestream’s Media Manager SAAS solution for the delivery of live TV, catch-up TV and VoD services to desktop, iOS, Android and Apple TV (4th Gen) users.
“We’re very pleased to be working with Simplestream to ensure that Blaze provides a really compelling and easy to navigate ‘TV Everywhere’ experience that truly engages UK consumers,” said Heather Jones, General Manager at A+E Networks UK. Their experienced team has provided us with the tools and services to seamlessly and effectively manage our multiscreen assets.”
The entirely cloud-based solution leverages several of Media Manager’s modules to provide a powerful and fully automated workflow. The Simplestream team completed a comprehensive integration with A+E’s playout provider to create a single unified workflow that ingests the live channel and creates VoD assets directly from A+E’s Media Asset Management system – including full management of associated metadata and media rights controls.
“With consumers becoming accustomed to constant connectivity, it is now vital that broadcasters retain a competitive edge by ensuring their content is accessible from any device,” added Dan Finch, Commercial Director at Simplestream. “Embracing new and innovative platforms is a significant move for the UK’s free to air TV market. We’ve achieved this for A+E Networks by providing a cost-effective, premium-quality live, VoD and catch-up TV experience that will help the network reach a wider audience. We look forward to helping A+E Networks roll out its channels across other OTT platforms and to make Blaze a household name in the coming months.”