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SVG Sit-Down: Tata Communications' Elio Parente on M&E Plans for the Americas, At-Home Production, Rise of IP


SVG Sit-Down: Tata Communications' Elio Parente on M&E Plans for the Americas, At-Home Production, Rise of IP The pandemic has brought a new normal for sports production and distribution By Jason Dachman, Chief Editor

Monday, September 21, 2020 - 3:01 pm

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After more than two decades on the transmission side of the M&E industry, Elio Parente joined Tata Communications Media & Entertainment Services (MES) in July to head its American sales team. A veteran of CenturyLink, Level 3, and Genesis, he is now looking to take Tata Communications' MES team in the region to greater heights.

SVG sat down with Parente to discuss his vision for Tata Communications' Media & Entertainment services division in the Americas, the acceleration of remote/at-home production as a result of the pandemic, the rise of public-IP protocols for media-transmission needs, and why Tata Communications is excited about the future of the sports-media sector.

Tata Communications' Elio Parente: We are reinventing traditional sports and live events to bring it to a captive audience at home, to ensure fans have access to content, while maintaining quality and a sense of engagement.

What does your new role at Tata Communications entail, and what do you believe you bring to the company given your industry experience?

My new position here is to lead the Americas sales team covering Canada, the U.S., LATAM, and Mexico. Our goal is to grow market share within the Americas and ultimately become industry leaders within the space.

I've been in the industry for over 25 years, beginning my career in TV production, going on to help found and build two video-transmission and media-technology companies, [and] then transitioning to the big telecom space, providing and supporting television and media managed services. Although spending most of my career in operations, I transitioned to the sales side about eight years ago.

I am able to take all that experience and understanding of the TV workflow and apply it in this new role. Most important, I am focused on using my experience, knowledge base, and skillset to lead and elevate our already amazing MES team to greater heights. Everyone is a true industry professional, and it is an honor to be working with them.

What are some of Tata Communications' key projects, missions/goals, messaging that you'd like to make sure the sports-media community is aware of?

The sports-media world is one of the most challenging and dynamic communities within the industry who demand excellence and innovation from its providers. What I'd like the world to know about Tata Communications is that it offers a holistic solution that covers the entire media ecosystem.

We work with some of the leading sports organizations and broadcasting firms, delivering live and produced content to fans all across the globe. We are reinventing traditional sports and live events to bring it to a captive audience at home, to ensure fans have access to content, while maintaining quality and a sense of engagement they've come to get used to.

With content now being developed for a global audience, remote production can also help with the production of multilingual content. Every single media organization is now looking at remote production not only as a way to manage costs but as an active part of their business plan to start production activity again. To add, our Content Delivery Network is also optimized for live and on-demand video distribution with a global footprint to ensure that the OTT platforms can face the increased traffic.

We have [helped] some of the biggest sports federations adapt to the pandemic and deliver sports in new formals and enable a safe start as sporting and live media events resume.

We have the world's largest telecom backbone fiber, internet, and edge infrastructure upon which we operate our MES network. We have a very deep stack of telecom and media products and services that enable us to support our very demanding customer base throughout all areas of the television workflow. Whether it's traditional multichannel video-programming distributor (MVPD) globally or direct-to-consumer, Tata Communications has the service set, expertise, and knowledge necessary to deliver innovative media solutions for customers. We are also very passionate about the business and have a philosophy of we will do whatever it takes to support our customers.

How has the pandemic affected the transmission needs of sports broadcasters/OTT outlets, and how is Tata Communications looking to serve those evolving needs?

I believe the major trends we're seeing are actually trends that started a few years ago; however, they have been expedited due to current world conditions under COVID-19. I look at these trends as an evolution of the TV industry itself. These include, of course, the trend or initiative around remote/at-home production. For several years now, the industry has been embracing remote-production workflows.

That said, the term remote production has taken on a new dynamic under current conditions. This includes developing new architecture and workflow solutions to support all areas of the television ecosystem, beyond what was usually considered normal course of business.

There is a new normal for the sports world, and, as a provider, we have had to innovate to support their needs, leveraging our extremely dynamic and robust technical infrastructure. On top of this, ensuring quality and reliability remains at the forefront of everything we do. This trend we believe will also continue to grow significantly in a post-COVID world, and our media and entertainment solutions are positioned to take our customers into the future.

What other big trends are you seeing in the market these days?

Another trend that is becom
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