March 21, 2023

Imagine moves rights and scheduling to SaaS in under 90 days as broadcaster takes on Central European operations

When major media organization Antenna Group, based in the Netherlands, acquired Sony Pictures Television’s network portfolio in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), it gained 22 pay TV channels, two streaming services and more than 24 million subscribers in 12 territories. Given a tight deadline to assume management of the newly acquired content, Antenna worked with Imagine Communications on a rapid migration to Landmark™ Rights and Scheduling software as a managed service.  The new system, which operates as Software as a Service (SaaS) within the dedicated Imagine cloud, has enabled Antenna to streamline workflows and operations and maximize return on investment by moving to an OpEx model.

In Hungary, headquarters of Antenna Entertainment, a previous version of the Landmark system was in use, and the decision was made to integrate the operations into a single, modernized platform.

“Managing rights and scheduling across multiple linear and digital platforms, in multiple territories, is a complex business,” said Costas Colombus, CTO of Antenna Group. “We had to take on a very large library of new content from the acquisition, alongside our existing rights holdings, and get our operations up to speed immediately. Imagine gave us complete confidence in the database rapid migration, as well as the advantages of using Landmark as a SaaS that were commercially compelling.”

The commercial terms of the acquisition left a very short window for the operations to be transferred, and specialists from Imagine and local distributor Amy DV in Athens quickly began work to help Antenna meet their deadline. The entire implementation — including creation of SaaS instances, the migration of on-premises databases from both operations into the Imagine cloud, and training of the team — was achieved in less than 12 weeks.

Mathias Eckert, SVP & GM EMEA and APAC at Imagine Communications, added, “Media enterprises today want to concentrate on their core business of making, managing and monetizing content. Operating the core technology as a SaaS makes it very fast to implement ― as the Antenna project shows ― with all the maintenance and support carried out for the business by our cloud facilities. Antenna never has to worry about software updates or the routine maintenance and replacement of servers. The result is a highly functional system which is precisely tailored to their needs, and with a significantly reduced total cost of ownership.”

​Landmark Rights & Scheduling enables rights management and scheduling for premium-quality live, streaming and on-demand channels and content. Its comprehensive scheduling engine provides the tools to create single or multichannel schedules — combining program content and advertisements into a single, frame-accurate playlist. This allows media companies to get the most from their programming assets with the optimal schedule to reach target audiences and maximize profits.​

“We carefully analysed Antenna’s business processes before determining that Landmark was the right product for the evolution of their workflow,” said David Chalkidis, manager at Amy DV. “Migrating to a next-generation version of software that their operators were already familiar with enabled Antenna to streamline this significant transition and prepare for a converged linear and digital future.”

About Antenna Entertainment

As part of Antenna Group, one of the biggest media and entertainment organizations, Antenna Entertainment operates in 12 territories in Central and Eastern Europe with 22 paid TV channels and an on-demand service. In Hungary, this includes VIASAT3, VIASAT6, VIASAT2, VIASAT FILM and AXN, whilst in other countries the company operates AXN Black, AXN White and AXN Spin, serving around 24 million subscribers regionally.

Antenna Entertainment’s mission is to provide the highest quality entertainment in the region by delivering unique content including own productions focusing on local talents and stories that need to be told.

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portatif of Steve Reynolds


Steve Reynolds

Steve Reynolds is President of Imagine Communications, a global leader in multiscreen video and ad management solutions that broadcasters, networks, video service providers and enterprises around the world rely on to support their mission-critical operations.

Steve brings 25 years of technology leadership in the video industry to Imagine Communications. He has served as the CTO at Imagine Communications and Harris Broadcast, Senior Vice President of Premises Technology at Comcast, Senior Vice President of Technology at OpenTV, and CTO at Intellocity USA.

Steve earned a MS in Computer Engineering from Widener University and BS in Computer Science from West Chester University. As the Chairman of the AIMS Alliance and a member of SMPTE and SCTE, he has participated in numerous standards-making bodies in the cable and digital video industries. Steve also holds over 40 patents relating to digital video, content security, interactive television and digital devices.