Sky News UK automates newsroom workflow with Ross Video OverDrive
Following a review of operations in 2016 and the decision to refurbish the news studio, Sky made the decision to introduce production automation as a way of improving the consistency of the channel’s content – and then set out to find an appropriate technology partner.
Jack Horry, Sky’s project lead at the Isleworth studios near London, was initially concerned with the issue of integration. “There were a number of different vendors involved in this project and many of them were providing custom applications, so we were concerned about how any automated production control (APC) system would integrate with the different solutions on the table. We already knew that OverDrive is a popular product and is widely-used, but interoperability was obviously an important issue for Sky. Fortunately, the Ross OverDrive development team spent a lot of time with us and they were happy to talk about roadmaps to the extent that some specific features we asked for have now been incorporated into the mainstream product. We’re extremely pleased with the results and we’ve seen a definite improvement in consistency while still giving us the flexibility we need to introduce breaking news or make changes to the rundown quickly and easily”.
“For Sky News, no reduction in flexibility would have been acceptable”, according to Scott Bowditch, director of business development for OverDrive at Ross. “From the beginning of the process, it was clear to the operations and engineering stakeholders that OverDrive is a very powerful product and can automate even the most complex workflows. OverDrive is designed to be ‘newsroom friendly’ and to take account of the fact that news is inherently dynamic and fluid. OverDrive has actually increased Sky’s ability to address late changes and breaking news more quickly and efficiently than ever before without comprising the rest of the rundown.”
Oscar Juste, director of Sales for EMEA, sees the relationship with Sky as an important milestone for Ross: “We’re delighted to be working with Sky and this deployment is another important feather in the Ross cap for Europe; we’ve seen consistent growth of over 30% year on year in the region and, with our new EMEA HQ facility in Reading, UK, and further additions to the team, we’re on a very positive path right now. We couldn’t do that without great products and forward-thinking customers who help us improve them; Sky is no exception”.