PBS Selects Accenture to Develop System Enabling Transition to Digital TV

ALEXANDRIA, VA. and NEW YORK; Nov. 21, 2002 The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) today announced that it selected Accenture (NYSE: ACN) to build an advanced program and trafficking system to provide PBS’ member stations with critical programming and scheduling information management services. This solution, called PBS Orion, will enable PBS to transition to a Digital Television broadcast environment to meet the recent government mandate requiring TV broadcasters to switch to digital technology by May 2003. The system was launched in June 2002, and future enhancements are planned.

PBS Orion is a Web-based extranet solution that supports programming and scheduling information for PBS, program producers and program distributors. The solution enables the network to capture and manage critical information around the scheduling and programming process, such as credits, rights, technical and funding information. One of the most significant benefits is that Orion will enable PBS to better manage information associated with a greater number of channels -- a critical capability with the arrival of Digital Television.

By upgrading its operational capabilities, PBS will be able to deliver more accurate, timely and complete programming and scheduling data to member stations and users of the trafficking and programming information, enabling stations to make more efficient and intelligent programming decisions.

“We turned to Accenture to help build the first critical phase of this end-to-end broadcast information management system because of their extensive experience in planning and successfully implementing complex broadcasting management solutions,” said Edward P. Caleca, senior vice president, PBS Technology and Operations. “When the new system is fully implemented, it will be one of the most advanced and innovative in the U.S. market.”

The PBS Orion solution has already reduced the PBS Broadcast Operations group’s need for data re-entry by up to 85 percent, and PBS has compressed the process of delivering program and schedule information to its station community by 10 days per month. Other key benefits of the advanced broadcast information management system include the ability for PBS to work more efficiently and effectively with a greater number of content producers. A reduction of cycle times means that PBS will be able to acquire, schedule, manage and deliver programming in a fraction of the time it previously took. Data accuracy is also expected to improve greatly since producers and distributors will be able to manage their own programming and scheduling information, and alert driven workflow will inform users when information needs to be reviewed or acted upon.

“The transition to a digital broadcast environments poses many complex challenges including converting legacy data to work with new, advanced system capabilities,” said Jon Craver, a partner in Accenture’s Communications & High Tech operating group. “The powerful extranet solution will help improve PBS’ business processes by enhancing its operating capabilities to more fully support the program greenlighting-to-scheduling business process.”

Accenture worked with PBS to define the specific business requirements and then designed, developed, tested and deployed the solution. PBS Orion is the first phase in the development of an advanced broadcast information management system. PBS expects to roll out the entire program over the next several years. When the system is completed, PBS will have a solution that supports its entire acquisition-to-air process, including program management, scheduling, rights management, contracts, and technical operations center activities such as technical work order and playlist management.

About Accenture
Accenture is the world’s leading management consulting and technology services organization. Through its network of businesses approach – in which the company enhances its consulting and outsourcing expertise through alliances, affiliated companies and other capabilities – Accenture delivers innovations that help clients across all industries quickly realize their visions. With more than 75,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.57 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About PBS
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.


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