From live to archive and back with WHATS’ON

“There’s a major editing task if you want to reuse your archives from the past”, says RTBF TV Director Thierry Delrue in an interview with MEDIAGENIX in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle and you need to be creative.”

In the absence of live sports events, media companies needed to find new and creative ways to keep their viewers engaged, filling the sudden gaps in their schedules with original and archived content or with esports events.

As soon as the COVID-19 pandemic ebbed away and live sports were back with a vengeance, the clash between rights, obligations and restrictions flared up. We see a proliferation of pop-up channels, while sports rights owners, sports clubs and federations are going DTC.

Amid the rampant complexity of rights, Business Management Platform WHATS’ON helps to monetize these rights to the full in various ways (including selling them), while reducing costs and opening up new revenue streams.


When diving into their archives for content that can alleviate the viewer’s hunger for sports, WHATS’ON users can also immediately see and schedule content that supplements the main content. Bonus content such as interviews with players, and related content (e.g. past matches of the same team) can be scheduled directly before or after the main content.

WHATS’ON Available Rights Catalogue gives a central, real time overview of all the content that is available based on the rights and use of the content. Apart from filling the gaps in the schedule, this tool can be used for long-term strategic planning, short-term planning, reporting, but also as input for AI aided scheduling and selling rights.

Broadcasters and streamers have a lot of content and are reusing the same content more and more. But to offer a new angle to the viewers on existing content, they can reorder episodes of a series, combine content of multiple seasons or even make new series by compiling unrelated content around a chosen theme or purpose. For example, have a sporting highlights series, or a series of sports films and documentaries.

VoD or Linear, it makes no difference to WHATS’ON. Multiple transmissions can be created with one click, for both VoD and Linear channels, in accordance with applicable rights, restrictions and business rules. No need to enter the data all over again: everything is replicated, but can be deviated from for every separate transmission. There are all kinds of automated checks to make sure everything is in accordance with the contracts, and the correct media asset with the correct components is linked to each transmission.


The same combination of resourcefulness and tools with functional depth will be needed when live sports are back, and rights, obligations and restrictions will clash as never before. When that time comes WHATS’ON will be there to help media companies and content owners create and remove channels—whether OTT or Linear—at the drop of a hat. With efficient management of multiple versions and channels, WHATS’ON also helps them faultlessly connect the right audience to the right (localized) content version.

A+E Networks UK/HISTORY, for instance, used WHATS’ON to create a special pop-up channel which scheduled football-related programming during the FIFA World cup. The channel was configured and ready to go within a few hours and ran for 14 days. This allowed the customer to focus dedicated content on a targeted event for a specific period of time.

Integrating with best-of breed solutions and APIs to piece it all together, WHATS’ON offers a seamless automation of the VoD distribution workflow orchestration.


For quite some time now, MEDIAGENIX have been developing specific solutions for sports services within the BMS environment, capturing the dynamics and complexity of rights, obligations and restrictions in sports.

The aim is always to optimise revenue and achieve operational excellence.

A constant is that WHATS’ON helps operators maximize the value out of their hard fought sports rights by reducing manual work to a minimum, giving a clear insight into costs and revenues, and providing a single point of truth to make better editorial, scheduling and selling decisions.

Scott Ferguson, Vice President Content Planning and Analysis at DAZN: “What makes us very different from anyone else is the sheer scale of the number of events that we manipulate and manage. We have about 25,000 live sporting events a year, which I think is twice the amount managed by the largest linear service in the world. That meant we had to invent this workflow. Taking some of the legwork out is high in the agenda. Things that can be suggested by automation and machine learning. And as with performance analysis, automation can only be delivered in a system where WHATS’ON is a very important part, simply because everything is tracked, everything is unique, and everything is measured and seen.”

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