As Globecast America remakes itself from a teleport services provider into a “network agnostic content management, aggregation and connectivity company,” Mary Frost looks to be the perfect choice to guide the transition. The new role means that Globecast America will place more emphasis on packaging, transporting, storing and licensing content and providing transport rights to U.S. distributors.
Frost joined Globecast in 2003 as senior vice president of sales and later served as COO before being named CEO of Globecast America, the U.S. unit of Paris-based Globecast, in August. Her 25 years of experience in the broadcast industry give her a breadth and depth of knowledge from the customer perspective that will keep Globecast America at the top of its field, especially as the satellite provider mixes more delivery methods into its offerings.
“As more content travels as files, we are using more fiber transport,” she says. “Fiber is such a different animal from satellite, and we had to challenge ourselves to master this medium and to overcome its inherent points of failure, which affects even the best of providers. I am really pleased by this progress as we need fiber, but we are still passionate about satellite.”
Frost shared her biggest challenges and industry insights with the Via Satellite editorial staff.
Via Satellite: What are your priorities for Globecast America? Mary Frost:
My most immediate focus is on finalizing our move in Miami to HBO Latin America in Sunrise, Fla., where we are leasing technical space to provide program origination. We are closing our existing Miami production center, which was designed to support soundstage production, a business we got out of a few years back. South Florida remains our gateway to Latin America, thus, by leasing at HBO, we will be able to originate up to 60 channels if we choose.
We will, of course, be operating independently, but we will benefit from their state-of-the art facility, engineering support and Category 5 hurricane protection. We will continue to offer some satellite delivery, primarily to SES/NSS 806; however, the bulk of our transmission services will route through our principal teleport and broadcast center in Los Angeles and provides connectivity to our global network.
Via Satellite: What is prompting the transition to content manager? Frost
: The broadcast networks are moving their stations to digital in anticipation of the [U.S. Federal Communications Commission] requirements and to provide SD (standard-definition) and HD (high-definition) feeds. The entire broadcast value chain is moving to IP (Internet Protocol). That means that channels are being contributed and played out in an IP mode, which will seamlessly flow across these new telco networks. In this new IP-enabled world, broadcasters want greater control over their content. They still need the satellite and fiber connectivity, but they want to be able to control and schedule delivery of those files on our network.