Platform: Sky ch 179, Freesat 177 & Freeview 89
Launched: 1st September 2020
Genre: Entertainment Channel
Services: content localisation, graphics creation, promo production, play-out sourcing, channel launch management, scheduling ad insertion, EPG delivery, social media management.
Client Profile: Court TV
US broadcaster Court TV came to MPB to launch them into the UK market, having received a recommendation for our services. Owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, Court TV is the world’s only network devoted to live broadcasting of the most compelling court cases in the United States. It provides gavel-to-gavel coverage of cases from inside the court room, in-depth legal reporting and expert analysis of America’s most significant trials, including the Presidential Impeachment and the upcoming George Floyd murder case.
Our knowledge of the full broadcast chain; technical expertise; and relationships with platform operators, playout and capacity providers, meant that Court TV chose us to manage their launch and ongoing broadcast operations in the UK.
Lockdown restrictions on both sides of the pond meant that we had to be creative in bringing content across from the States. We remotely set up the workflows and processes to enable us to receive and, where necessary, localise content and promos for the channel. Court TV is usually live for 12-hours a day, but, due to COVID19, they have been airing historical trials, interspersed with live content, when it is available. Playout, by Pace Media, receive a channel feed via Zixi, convert NTSC to PAL and we insert local advertising and promotions using SCTE triggers, embedded in the feed.
As Court TV’s chosen partner, MPB used our industry knowledge and relationships to coordinate the launch; bringing together all the relevant parties from playout to distribution; and getting the signal and EPG data to the platforms. MPB prides itself on being agnostic in regards to other providers in the broadcast chain and, as well as working with industry giants such as Arqiva and Globecast, partners with smaller, agile players who can provide bespoke solutions and offer the best value for our clients.
Court TV launched on Sky channel 179 in September 2020, followed with a launch onto Freesat channel 177. The news has just been announced, to much fanfare, that Court TV is coming to Freeview channel 89 on 15th Feb 2021. This makes it available on the EPG of the UK’s biggest TV platform and to approximately 25 million households across the nation. The Freeview launch comes just ahead of Court TV’s live coverage and analysis of the George Floyd trial, one of the biggest in modern U.S. history, set to begin in early March.
Key Triumphs / Highlights
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, we are immensely proud of the huge success of launching Court TV, enabling it to reach so many eyeballs in the UK.
But we didn’t just stop when we got the channel on air. We have helped Court TV to ensure that their UK channel is a success, capturing and building an audience beyond launch by providing social media consultancy. Our specialist marketer wrote a social media bible, trained new in-house staff and ran campaigns on social, that have already generated over a quarter of a million video plays.
What the client says
“Court TV’s launch in the UK was near seamless. Our brand is in safe hands day to day, with MPB, and its team feels like an extension of our own. MPB put in the pre-work necessary to get to know our brand, our people, our complex scheduling workflows because of live courtroom coverage, and our metrics for success. It then acted like a Sherpa in helping Court TV launch internationally on multiple platforms. With MPB, day to day international operations, including commercial replacements, are as routine as our US efforts”
- Kerry Oslund, VP Strategy and Business Development, The E.W. Scripps Company