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* Largest project of its type in mainland Europe this year –
* Multi-year technical and upgrade support core part of the deal –

London, UK (10th January, 2008) – Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services (S&TS) a provider of consulting, systems integration, and technical support services for the electronic media and entertainment industry, today announced that it has won a major contract with leading French broadcaster Télévision Française 1 (TF1). The deal covers the design and build of TF1’s new tapeless production system for all of the broadcaster’s news and sports programming.

The new facilities are to be built at TF1’s headquarters in Boulogne near Paris and will host and manage the production of all of TF1’s news programming – the most widely watched news bulletins in Europe with almost 40% of the population tuning into daily bulletins – as well as that of LCI, the broadcaster’s 24-hour news channel.

In addition to providing the new state-of-the-art production and news playout solution for TF1 Ascent Media’s S&TS team is also building a fully functional back-up production system as part of its disaster recovery planning. This disaster recovery system mirrors the workflow of the live facility and will secure the broadcaster’s operations in the event of any downtime. A third Test and Development system is also being built which will allow the broadcaster to assess updates to the system and test new platforms as these emerge.

The solution proposed by Ascent Media was selected after months of evaluation and testing of different competitive solutions. The 12-month integration and installation project commences immediately with plans to have the first systems operational in mid-2008.

Commenting on the deal Gilles Maugars, CTO Technology & IT Division, TF1, stated: “Following an exhaustive year-long search for the right solution we feel very strongly that the open platform approach proposed by Ascent Media offers the flexibility and scalability that most closely matches our current needs as well as addressing TF1’s future broadcasting requirements. With Ascent Media we believe we have found a team with whom we can pool our expertise to form a spirit of true partnership resulting in a win-win situation for all. Ascent Media has the necessary technical know-how as well as the resources to support a project of this magnitude and importance over the long term.”

As part of the biggest project it has undertaken in Europe to date Ascent Media’s S&TS team has also been contracted to provide TF1 with ongoing technical support once installation of the new systems are complete. This five-year contract will cover the provision of call centre support teams and responsibility for technical maintenance and future development of the new systems.

“Winning a contract of this size from a forward-thinking broadcaster like TF1 underscores how the broadcast industry is moving away from single vendor solutions” said Alain Polgar Vice President, EMEA, Ascent Media Systems & Technology Services. “Ascent Media’s approach of taking best-of-breed technologies to fit with the fast changing requirements of television broadcasting is gaining traction. Our ability to wrap-in comprehensive support and training services for a multi-vendor solution during the entire lifecycle of the TF1 project also proved to be highly compelling and a real differentiator over the other parties that were in the bidding process.”

Each of the components of the new TF1 system will be provided by leading broadcast and IT manufacturers. At its core is Dalet’s Media Asset Management platform that is also managing the system’s entire workflow and integrates with TF1’s existing newsroom computer system and archive management. In the main system 26 channels of video are being ingested and a further 40 played-out from Omneon’s high performance server platform. In addition Exanet’s NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions will manage 96 terabytes of redundant storage provided by DataDirect Networks across the main and back-up systems. Apple’s Final Cut Pro was chosen as the sole editing platform and 150 workstations needed to be integrated into the new workflow to allow editors and journalists to edit content both onsite and from the field.

About TF1
TF1, the leading French general-interest television channel, with an audience share of 31.6% in 2006, is an integrated media group developing activities in growth markets around its core business. Since 1987, TF1 has created new activities with high added value, building on its original business as program producer and broadcaster.

Today, the TF1 Group's activities cover the entire audiovisual industry: upstream in production, acquisition and sale of audiovisual rights and also in distribution of feature films to cinemas. Downstream in publishing and distribution of DVDs and music CDs. TF1 is also expanding in home-shopping TV with its subsidiary Téléshopping.
TF1 has created a wide choice of spin-off products: spin-off income, board games, video content, blogs and websites. Thanks to the development of online services, TF1 has become a multimedia content producer through e-TF1 which produces, develops and publishes content and interactive services on the internet and mobile TV channels.

TF1 is expanding in the pay-TV market with leading theme channels at the heart of pay TV, not only in France (LCI, TF6, TV Breizh, and TMC among others) but also worldwide (with Eurosport).

About Ascent Media
Santa Monica, California-based Ascent Media Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), which, through its Creative Services and Network Services divisions, provides creative and technical media services to the media and entertainment industries. Through more than 75 facilities in California, New York, London, Singapore and other locations throughout the world, Ascent Media Group provides effective solutions for the creation, management and distribution of content to major motion picture studios, independent producers, broadcast networks, cable channels, advertising agencies and other companies that produce, own and/or distribute entertainment, news, sports, corporate, educational, industrial and advertising content. More information about Ascent Media Group is available at www.ascentmedia.com.


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Contacts

Stephen Orr,
AxiCom UK (for Ascent Media),
Tel: +44 20 8392 4056,
stephen.orr@axicom.com

Jaia Lloyd,
Ascent Media UK,
Tel: +44 20 7131 6131, jaia.lloyd@ascentmedia.co.uk


This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of AxiCom in the following categories: Media & Marketing, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit http://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.