Qualified Leads

 

ViewSat is one of the fastest-growing operators within the global broadcast and transmission services industry for television and radio channels. Safia Rana, Head of Sales and Marketing, ViewSat talks about their services and participation at CABSAT 2014.

 

Q) Could you please tell us about the services you provide?

 

ViewSat is a global provider of broadcast services for television and radio channels. We offer broadcast distribution, playout and content management, turnaround services and live broadcast solutions. Our specialist experience and time in the industry has meant that we are capable of dealing with clients of various sizes and providing direct to home services for a range of transmission types. We are especially proficient in helping start-up channels establish themselves and expand into new markets across the globe.

Owing to our deep regional expertise and significant investments in the MENA, we saw a 44% increase in regional revenues in 2013 and now manage distribution for over 75 regional channels.

 

Q) Please give us more details about the Second Satellite Transponder you have recently launched.

 

While this was a significant investment for ViewSat, the launch of our second Satellite transponder in the 7/8 degrees West orbital neighborhood has effectively enabled us to double our broadcast capacity in the region. Around the same time of the launch, we also installed a 9m antenna at our UK headquarters in order to uplink channels to the MEA market.

 

The Middle East has always been a vital market to ViewSat. Our investment in technologies for the region has meant that we have been able to bring a lot of our broadcast and transmission services in-house. This enables us to guarantee an exceptionally high Quality-of-Services (QoS) in a mode that doesn't affect the current services offered to our customers in any way.

 

Moreover, we have recently signed an agreement with Intelsat, a leading global provider of satellite services which owns and operates the Galaxy 19 satellite. This enabled us to offer our customers access to over 7 million viewers in North America. Our FTA (free to air) channel selection will further open this market and facilitate the growing audience in the USA choosing this option over the established Pay-TV setup.

 

At CABSAT event, which was lately held in Dubai, we highlighted the significance of this capability. There is a huge demand for ethnic TV channels in North America and the Galaxy 19 provides content to 79% of Farsi speakers receiving Farsi channels and 43% of Arabic speakers receiving Arab channels. This translates to 33% of all US Farsi speakers and 28% of all US Arab speakers.

 

Q) What are your objectives in the Middle East?

 

Our prime objectives this year are to establish a regional office and extend our broadcast capabilities by tying up with an over-the-top (OTT) service provider. This will enable us to further our engagement with regional customers. With the deep penetration of smart devices in the region and ready access to high-speed internet, the demand for OTT content is on the rise. We are keen to establish ourselves as leaders in this area from these early stages.

 

Q) When compared to other parts of the world, how do you evaluate the evolution of broadcast technologies in the region?

 

I would say that the Middle East is in fact far more advanced than some other regions, and demands here are bigger. With wide availability of stable, high-speed internet connections, live solutions are becoming very popular. We also find that customer interaction in here via the TV using SMS during live shows really puts them ahead of other regions.

 

Q) How is ViewSat contributing to this development?

 

In line with our long years of experience in the region and our strong relationships with customers, we are capable of providing them with sound advice- whether in helping them deliver new services to their viewers or in helping them expand into new markets.

 

By providing our customers with quality broadcast services particularly in the domain of live solutions delivered via the internet, we help them bypass expensive equipment investments. This means a faster time to market and the ability focus on their core competencies.

 

Q) Which kind of challenges do you face in the region?

 

One of the challenges in the region, it is often that customers who work with partners struggle with stability and reliability. This leads to mistrust and makes building new relationships difficult. Certainly, once customers have witnessed firsthand a top quality of service, they remain highly loyal to their partners.

 

Moreover, there is another difficulty with doing business in the region customers request everything to be done immediately. Often these expectations lack the backing of a structured process which makes our lives very hard.

 

Q) What did you gain from CABSAT event?

 

CABSAT has proved to be a fantastic opportunity to meet with the key players in the region's broadcasting space- including service providers, channel players and end-customers. Our prime objective this year was to identify OTT service providers with whom we can build strong and fruitful partnerships. In addition, we believe it is necessary to participate in such regional events as it is a display of our commitment to this market and our partners here. As a company that has managed to grow its regional revenues by 44% in 2013 we are set to continue our aggressive expansion in 2014. Our efforts at CABSAT presented us with a healthy volume of qualified leads that will help us in this endeavor.

 

Q) What are your plans for the next few years?

 

As mentioned, establishing ourselves as a key provider of OTT services is a top priority. We will also focus on establishing new regional offices across America, Sub-Saharan Africa and in the MENA region.

 

We remain extremely ambitious and will strive to maintain a controlled growth of 45% year on year for the next 3 years. While doing so, we will also establish ourselves into new markets thereby helping our customers expand their reach as well.

 

About Safia Rana

 

Safia Rana is Head of Sales and Marketing at ViewSat. She joined ViewSat in 2011, growing the sales team to 7 people and spearheading the growth of ViewSat from 45 customers to support over 170 customers globally. Safia holds a Higher Education Diploma in Business Management. She joined the business from a retail position, bringing fresh insight into departmental and strategic requirements, recruitment and industry growth areas. Safia has recently spearheaded a multi-platform sales expansion, taking on a number of new clients and opening coverage in the North American region for existing channels.

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