Designing schedule coordination software for ProSieben

CLIENT

1
Germany's second largest television company
1
Started broadcasting

ProSieben is a German commercial cable-satellite television station that broadcasts across the DACH region, Luxembourg and Eastern Europe.

CHALLENGE

ProSieben’s activities include programme planning, transmission scheduling and broadcasting operations. Tasks in each of these departments were performed using disparate software applications, which resulted in time-consuming manual processes.

Another challenge to efficiency was that, as a commercial broadcaster with operations across the DACH region, ProSieben must ensure it does not break any broadcasting codes, which vary from country to country. Separate regulators govern limits on the number of commercial breaks that can be shown in films, the number of commercials per hour, and when adult content can be aired. Just as important is ensuring no ‘dead air’ is broadcast, which requires close scrutiny to ensure partial overlapping of programmes with trailers and commercials. Breaches of these regulations can result in heavy fines.

To resolve these issues, ProSieben needed a unified schedule coordination solution that could replace the various software applications already in use and provide ease of use and consistency across the organisation, without breaking the broadcasting codes in force in the company’s target markets.

Different software applications in use across ProSieben.
Inefficient manual processes needed to be eliminated.
Requirement to abide by broadcasting codes across DACH region.
Heavy fines in place for non-compliance.
ProSieben needed unified schedule coordination solution.

SOLUTION

Our aim was to develop a schedule coordination client application to replace ProSieben’s existing software for programme planning, transmission scheduling and broadcasting operations. We began by producing detailed design documentation for the schedule coordination software, before completing ten related small-scale projects for ProSieben.

With the client satisfied, we designed the client application, initially on a fixed-price basis, before the second version was completed on a time and materials basis. We designed a rich graphic user interface, based on ProSieben’s corporate standard framework, with intuitive drag-and-drop functionality. The GUI enables quick and easy binding of programme elements, and users can carry out on-the-spot consistency checks to quickly obtain feedback on scheduling actions.

Over the course of collaboration, we twice visited ProSieben’s Bavarian HQ and transmission centre to better understand industry processes.

Detailed design documentation for schedule coordination software produced.
Rich, unified graphic user interface designed with drag-and-drop.
GUI highlights scheduling inconsistencies.

RESULTS

By delivering a unified schedule coordination client application to replace the various heterogenous software environments previously in use at ProSieben, we greatly reduced time-consuming manual processes in the company’s operations. The application enabled the creation of a consistent marketing policy to all areas of Prosieben’s business across the entire DACH region, including programme planning, transmission scheduling and broadcasting operations.

Inconsistencies and errors made in the course of scheduling are now easier to spot, thanks to the rich GUI, so the risk of inadvertently breaking broadcasting codes is considerably reduced. The unique, market-leading broadcast scheduling solution created by ProSieben’s technical specialists was expertly implemented by us. Design solution was awarded a high score from the institute

This also improved the ease with which trailers and other promotional programming can be introduced.

Multiple heterogenous software environments replaced by single application.
Manual processes in scheduling greatly reduced.
Consistent marketing policy introduced.
Scheduling errors and code breaches far less likely to occur.
Trailers can be introduced into schedules more easily.

TECHNOLOGY

  • J2EE (EJB, JMS)
  • J2SE(Swing)
  • WebSphere Application Developer
  • Rational XDE

SERVICE

  • Software design
  • Development
  • Testing
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