Sarah Sohail, digital sales manager, Al Aan TV, discusses the latest trends and developments at the Dubai-based TV station.
What have been the most exciting developments at Al Aan media services in the past 12 months?
In addition to many exciting projects, one key highlight for Al Aan has been developing DTL services as a location and as per equipment technical specs example. We are the only market player with a 4K DTL service available equipped with a high quality video wall. Very recently Al Aan TV media services facilitated Reuters London with a 4K DTL service from its studios for one of its prestigious clients. This project has been signed for a period of one year. This live facility is aired from Al Aan studios through Samacom and down linked on partner channel. With regards to SNG installations and uplink, Al Aan media services was hired by the internationally acclaimed production company BBH to facilitate Luxury brand Jaguar at the Jaguar F-pace launch with SNG services for live uplink in UK, USA and UAE.
DS: How do you see the state of the broadcast services industry at the moment?
It’s growing. Market players are increasing and experimenting with new technologies. There is constant upgrade and research for new and innovative solutions and client demands are increasing as well. We are witnessing a lot of upgrade queries from European markets and many market players are struggling to match European standards. However we still have 2-3 years margin to capitalise on existing standards completely. We might want to give an example of 4K SNG playout queries which we are constantly receiving from the European market but none of the service operators in Dubai are working on these standards and this may still need a lot of time to upgrade. Hence most companies end up importing these services and paying huge prices for it to serve international players.
DS: Where do you see the biggest opportunities?
As mentioned 4K technology is a game changer which is hitting the market as of now. Other than that, backpack units for coverage of unforeseen events such as natural calamities is also an area which holds significant room for revenue generation. Also, wireless news broadcast from live stand-up positions in terms of sports, news and event coverage with regards to current affairs, political turn outs, entertainment, accidents and war activities is where the biggest opportunity for earning lies.
DS: What are the main challenges Al Aan media services is facing?
Al Aan media services is currently trying to invest heavily on matching market expectations in terms of business queries whether through extended services or equipment upgrades. We did not provide SNG on wheels earlier but now we are a 4 camera setup with our latest SNG unit installed in our most well equipped car which can run for a stretch of 30 minutes without power anywhere in UAE.
DS: What exciting plans are there for the coming months?
We are going for production of our second SNG on wheels. We are also looking at international market collaborations with news suppliers to cover and offer extensive reach in the market for our prestigious clients, both in GCC and EMEA markets.