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The WNET Group creates inspiring media content and meaningful experiences for diverse audiences nationwide. It is the nonprofit parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN – America’s flagship PBS station – WLIW21, THIRTEEN PBSKids, WLIW World and Create; Long Island’s only NPR station WLIW-FM; and ALL ARTS, the arts and culture media provider. (PRNewsfoto/The WNET Group)

Centralcast and Digital Convergence Alliance to form CentralCast Alliance, LLC.

SYRACUSE, N.Y., Nov. 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Centralcast and Digital Convergence Alliance (DCA) will form one organization to provide joint master control multicast services to U.S. public television stations nationwide. In joining DCA with Centralcast this year, CentralCast Alliance will become the largest non-profit entity of its kind, providing stations with combined expertise in the latest broadcast technology as well as added-value services that include transitions to NextGen TV/ATSC 3.0, OTT, and cloud-based services.

Centralcast, the non-profit organization created by the eight public media stations in New York state, has provided multicast and streaming services for public television stations since 2012, and has grown to include over 27 stations and over 100 streams of content delivery including Create® TV. DCA originated the same year with six Florida stations and included Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Dallas and Champaign, IL in their joint master control operations.

This new powerhouse public media consortium formed by founding station partners from each entity will share in the ownership of the newly formed CentralCast Alliance, LLC. The new alliance will potentially bring an additional 40 streams of content under its control. Robert Altman, CentralCast acting board chairman and WMHT president and CEO said, "Supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CentralCast and DCA were pioneers, offering joint master control services for public television stations by public television stations. After ten years, the timing is right for us to move forward together." Neal Shapiro, CEO of The WNET Group and acting treasurer for Centralcast added, "I believe if we combine our experience, we can create an organization that will provide an exciting future for all public broadcasting stations and the communities they serve."

David Mullins, board chairman of DCA and general manager of WFSU, added, "We are very pleased to be announcing this partnership with Centralcast. Forming the new CentralCast Alliance is the best move for everyone and will allow all stations to take advantage of new technologies, offer the best expertise in public broadcasting, and will give us an exciting next generation platform for the future."

Shadi Sabra will be the chief executive officer. Working closely with Steve White, chief technology officer, Sabra will bring these station organizations together and ensure that all strategic assets, equity and diversity values are areas of focus in the process.

"The first initiative of the new company will be to leverage CentralCast Alliance's technology and existing infrastructure to offer a very cost-effective solution to any station whose master control provider cannot access live content when the PBS satellite system sunsets," Sabra said. "Stations will benefit immediately from all the efficiencies that CentralCast Alliance has to offer. From high-speed fiber wrapped in titanium to our advanced automation and MBE methodology and an integrated traffic system where stations maintain control, to our look-ahead disaster recovery. By continuing to work with our technology partners Evertz for playout and content management and Myers Information Systems for traffic and broadcast management, we can provide the reliability stations need today as well as implement a roadmap for future efficient cloud computing," he added.

An interim steering committee, led by Paul Grove and David Mullins from DCA and Robert Altman and Neal Shapiro from CentralCast, is guiding the transition and worked with BIA Advisory Services for strategic consulting and implementation. Paul Grove, president and CEO at WEDU PBS, DCA board member said, "Technology works best when it's shared and sharpened regularly. By building a larger roster of stations in common, all of us will have greater control over infrastructure investment and full access to the most innovative technology for master control and network operations."

A systems conversion is anticipated to be completed by August 2023; stations will begin transitioning their originating streams to joint master control in Syracuse, New York early next year.

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pioneers-in-joint-master-control-operations-join-forces-to-build-a-better-more-capable-future-for-public-television-stations-across-the-country-301675063.html

SOURCE The WNET Group

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Originally published on the TownNews Content Exchange.