France Télévisions OUTRE-MER 1ÈRE

Staying a step ahead in technology thanks to the partnership with NETIA.

rfo2Of all the main national broadcasters, FTV 1ère was the first to cast away analogue equipment and 'go digital'. For the past 15 years, FTV 1ère has counted on close technological partnerships with innovative manufacturers and software editors, including NETIA. With Radio Assist 8 and its media asset management module, the partnership with NETIA enables FTV 1ère to stay a step ahead of the game in terms of technology, attracting even more listeners at the same time!

With its radio and television network amongst the largest in the world in terms of coverage (17 channels and radio stations, broadcasting to locations tens of thousands of kilometers apart), FTV 1ère (Réseau France Outre-mer - France overseas network) took a major technological turn 17 years ago: "We were still in the era of vinyl and analogue equipment for radio, but we had the ambition to create a network of stations so that each country - Metropolitan France, French overseas departments and territories - could receive all the programs produced by our overseas teams", recalls Christian Augereau, FTV 1ère Technical Director.

"This network was, for example, going to allow us to broadcast Overseas territory music to a wider audience, much to the pleasure of many listeners. But to be able to go through with this vision, we needed top-of-the-range equipment and shared management tools for all our business processes, from production to broadcast".

FTV 1ère contacted specialized broadcasting-related equipment manufacturers and software editors who were renowned for their leading position in the field, in order to build up strong technological partnerships. The objective was to gain ground technologically at the lowest possible cost - FTV 1ère being a small organization in a very competitive market where the major players dominate - but also to get ahead of competition and stay there, by being the first to become equipped with the most innovative solutions.

Using all the NETIA state-of-the-art solutions

rfo1"Our partnership with NETIA, which is still very active and productive today, goes back to that period", Christian Augereau points out. "We chose to work with this software editor because of the wealth of features and advanced technical options in its Radio Assist offer, but also for the great human relationship NETIA creates with its clients. Both qualities are still there today!"

Within the context of the partnership, FTV 1ère is proactive in making suggestions for functional improvements. In exchange, it is always first to receive the new versions of Radio Assist. As a reward for all this testing and experimenting work, FTV 1ère quickly benefits from its partner's innovations.

Today, FTV 1ère is equipped with NETIA's most recent audiovisual solutions, i.e. Radio Assist 8 integrating the company's latest version of its content management system (CMS) for archive sharing. Around 300 people - journalists, programmers and technicians - in 10 remote production sites (Paris and the 9 French overseas departments and territories) use them every day. Radio Assist 8 manages all the workflow creation, program preparation, grid editing, music scheduling, and publication in an integrated and collaborative manner, in order to produce and broadcast increasing amounts of multimedia content that bring audio, video and internet (playlist, podcast etc.) together.

The workflow automation with Radio Assist 8

ddo1 medium"Today, programs are increasingly complex and expensive to produce due to the high quality expected by listeners: sound recording, for example, requires more and more technicians", explains Christian Augereau.

"To balance these costs whilst continuing to open up new points of presence (we went from having 2 channels in 1993 to 17 in 2011) and come up with new programs, we increasingly needed to industrialize and automate our operations. The successive versions of Radio Assist with all their developments allowed us to do this.

For example, Version 8's music scheduling system has more powerful choice algorithms, which increase our productivity while improving the quality of our sequences; and the integrated and simple multi-track editing features enable the journalists to quickly edit their multimedia reports themselves on their own editing system".

The implementation of NETIA's content management module ensures that all the stations share their recent archives, i.e. all news items, and gives FTV 1ère the chance to fully capitalize on the work of regional journalists. Put simply, the NETIA solutions for each of the 9 stations are automatically replicated and synchronized. Via a simple Web interface, each of the teams can then have access to the most recent productions at any given time. All items are indexed and stored on a shared database in order to easily integrate them into the programs when they are needed.

Towards a multimedia package with an IP Mosaic System

"Thanks to the NETIA solutions that help us automate and simplify our workflow, we only need one person in Paris to manage the programming and broadcasting for Radio Ô, launched in 2009, with music sent in from the 9 regional stations", adds Christian Augereau. "We can, therefore, now concentrate on what gives us added value, that is the quality and diversity of our programs, to increase the satisfaction of our listeners and improve audience ratings".

These digital technologies that today guarantee that FTV 1ère can streamline and combine the resources of all its stations, also allow it to go beyond regional radios and offer listeners a real multimedia package (radio, internet, web TV, mobiles...) "So that our listeners can switch even more easily between the many programs we offer in order to be totally in control of what they listen to and what they watch, we are now working with NETIA on the development of a new IP Mosaic system", concludes Christian Augereau.

"This system allows us to stay ahead on technology, which is something we really take to heart because it is our small-player strength in a big-player market!"

FTV 1ère becomes Outre-mer 1ère with the first French overseas territories DTT package

rfo2Created as FTV 1èreM (Radiodiffusion de la France outre-mer - broadcasting for French overseas areas) in September 1954, FTV 1ère (Radio Television Française d'Outre-mer - French overseas radio and television) has been part of the French Televisions holding company, the main French television group attracting 40% of the television audience, since 2005. Its aim was to make a radio and television network available to Metropolitan France and each of the 9 overseas 'countries' (Martinique, Guadeloupe, New Caledonia, Wallis and Futuna, Polynesia, Reunion, Guyana, Mayotte, and Saint-Pierre and Miquelon), broadcasting programs based on those peoples' cultures. The arrival of DTT for the overseas areas in 2010 marked a new era for FTV 1ère.

Renamed Outre-Mer 1ère, it acquired a new logo and a new schedule of programs, also becoming the first DTT package for the French overseas territories with the responsibility of guaranteeing programs 24/7 thanks to exchanges between its nine 1ère stations (Martinique-1ère, Guadeloupe-1ère, Guyane-1ère, etc.). To find out more:

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