SOURCE: IBM

September 09, 2005 12:00 ET

Fox Broadcasting Company and IBM Transform High Definition Broadcasting

2005 NFL High Definition Broadcasts on FOX First to Utilize IBM Standards-Based Technology Solution

LOS ANGELES, CA and ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 9, 2005 -- Fox Broadcasting Company today announced that it is launching a new digital broadcast system co-designed with IBM that will help transform high definition (HD) broadcast production for the 2005 NFL on FOX season. The new digital system will help FOX lower program production costs for its high definition NFL broadcasts and will enable content from the games to be available on demand for re-purposing and further distribution.

The FOX digital archive solution combines traditional broadcast format and encoding standards, such as ASI and MPEG, with industry standard technology to give FOX the ability to easily and transparently transmit digitally compressed HD NFL broadcasts straight from its stadium based, on-site mobile trucks directly into a production archive at its Los Angeles studio headquarters.

"By developing this outside-the-box solution with IBM, FOX will be able to better manage content in HD and give our audience a better viewing experience," said Andrew G. Setos, President of Engineering for the Fox Group. "Innovative technology solutions like this enable FOX to remain competitive, as we continue to deliver high quality content that our viewers have come to expect and enjoy as part of their entertainment experience on FOX."

Building on IBM's expertise in broadcast technology and business consulting for the media and entertainment industry, FOX worked with IBM and IBM business partner, Sirius Computer Solutions to design and implement a digital video storage system that allows FOX to manage, store and retrieve broadcast content faster and easier than with conventional production systems and traditional broadcast videotape infrastructure. The FOX digital archive solution is one of the first to integrate with the High Definition ASI (Asynchronous Serial Interface) standard, which is a Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard based technology used widely in broadcasting for transporting High Definition streams.

The FOX digital archive solution features IBM TotalStorage Linear Tape Open (LTO) Ultrium storage technology connected to industry standard IBM eServer xSeries systems running Linux that will allow the transfer of large volumes of data and information faster than in a traditional broadcast system. For example, a typical HD NFL game broadcast requires 115 GB of storage. The FOX digital solution will support 270 Mb/s ASI data stream with an aggregrate payload of up to 213 Mb/s. One 400 GB IBM LTO tape solution can easily accommodate three HD NFL game broadcasts of suitable quality for further editorial use. In addition, the solution includes IBM DB2 software for database and information management; IBM WebSphere middleware software and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager to help manage the archived content and information.

"The long awaited transition of core broadcast infrastructures to standards based technology has arrived," said Steve Canepa, vice president, IBM Media & Entertainment. "The FOX digital solution is a great example of the flexibility, scalability and cost advantages that can be achieved by integrating standards based technology with traditional production systems -- resulting in better programming capabilities to serve this rapidly evolving media marketplace."

About FOX

Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) is a unit of News Corporation. FOX finished the 2004-2005 season as the No. 1 network for the first time among Adult 18-49 viewers, while continuing to dominate all network competition in the more targeted Adults 18-34 and Teen demographics. FOX airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week as well as late night entertainment programming, major sports and Sunday morning news.

News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) (NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of December 31, 2004 of approximately US$53 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$22 billion. News Corporation is a diversified international media and entertainment company with operations in eight industry segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; magazines and inserts; newspapers; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Basin.

About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. Drawing on resources from across IBM and IBM Business partners, IBM offers a wide range of services, solutions and technologies that enable customers, large and small, to take full advantage of the new era of e-business. For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com. For more information about IBM Media & Entertainment industry, visit http://www-03.ibm.com/industries/media/index.jsp

About Sirius

Sirius is a national IBM Premier Business Partner and the world's largest IBM eServer reseller. Sirius provides IBM solutions to leading companies of all sizes and industries. Sirius' certified and experienced sales and technical teams work with IBM and U.S. clients to design, integrate, and deliver innovative IT solutions to make businesses more competitive. For more information about Sirius, visit www.siriuscom.com.

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