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- BBC Technology to provide consultancy and support to the project -


BBC World Service and IBM today announced that IBM has been chosen to design and implement a new digital production system at the BBC World Service's headquarters in London. The new system will transform radio production processes, improving creativity, productivity and efficiency, by giving producers digital access to source material. The value of the deal was not disclosed.

The IBM solution -- based on RadioMan broadcast content management software from Finnish Jutel -- will be implemented over the next two years. It will improve broadcast quality and transform production processes for the World Service's 42 language sections.

BBC Technology Ltd. is providing business planning, project management and technical consultancy to implement the end-to-end solution for World Service. This implementation involves a significant element of process change for World Service, delivered in partnership with BBC Technology Ltd and BBC Resources, who will both provide ongoing system support.

IBM was selected by the BBC World Service after expressions of interest from 35 suppliers and extensive evaluation of five shortlisted tenderers and was chosen on the basis of total service proposition, risk and cost. The breadth and depth of IBM's expertise in broadcast media solutions combined with the functionality provided by Jutel's RadioMan software was a significant factor in IBM's selection for this contractAt present the language service programmes of the BBC World Service are edited by splicing tapes by hand -- those that are to be broadcast must be transported to the studio, loaded onto a machine and cued for playback. With the IBM solution, material from different sources will be stored digitally, making the editing process quicker, enabling automation of playout and creation of audio for the internet. The archive will be centrally located and available to all producers across an upgraded BBC network infrastructure.

IBM Global Services will be responsible for the design and implementation of the new production system and provide training and skills transfer to enable the BBC to support the system.

Deputy Director of BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman, said: "Today's announcement is an important step in the modernisation of the BBC World Service's production process. The move from analogue to digital will improve not only the editorial content and audio quality for the BBC's listeners, but it will also help to maintain the World Service's competitive position, helping to meet challenging growth targets for FM radio audiences and online users."

Dr Michael A.Chamberlain, Head of Media Consultancy Practice at IBM Global Services, said: "With more than 150 million listeners worldwide, the BBC World Service is renowned globally for its outstanding range of high quality programming. There is no doubt that the combination of our respective resources and assets will provide an improved service for the BBC World Service and its listeners and online users all over the globe."

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Notes to Editors


About IBM Global Services

IBM Global Services is the world's largest information technology services provider, with nearly 150,000 professionals serving customers in 160 countries and annual revenue of more than $33 billion (2000). IBM Global Services integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realize the full value of information technology. IBM is helping media and entertainment companies worldwide take advantage of the business opportunities made possible by digital technology. IBM offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions, networking and service offerings that is transforming the traditional creative and business processes of media and entertainment companies and positioning them to leverage their intellectual assets into new commercial opportunities.

For more information visit: http://www.ibm.com/services


About IBM and Jutel

Jutel and IBM have worked together since 1995 and during the past two years have implemented the RadioMan solution for a number of national broadcasters in Europe. BBC Radio installations include: BBC Wales, BBC Radio Nottingham, BBC Radio Lincolnshire and BBC World Service Latin American Service. Most recently, IBM has been appointed to provide the network audio system, using RadioMan, for 26 BBC local radio stations in England.

For more information visit: http://www.ibm.com/services


About RadioMan

The RadioMan broadcast content management solution is a highly sophisticated solution designed, in particular, for major broadcasters. RadioMan enables digital content to be created, scheduled organised, broadcast and archived simultaneously to multiple media channels, such as radio, Internet and wireless. RadioMan is built on state of the art technology and has an open architecture based on industry standards that provide an unparalleled combination of scalability, suitability to different operational environments, integration capability and compatibility with future technologies. By providing new possibilities and ways to make programmes, effective material sharing, easy reuse of existing content and shorter production time, RadioMan enables broadcasters to increase productivity, to broaden the range and quality of the services offered and to provide new convenience for journalists, producers and technical personnel.

About the BBC World Service

The BBC World Service aims to be the best known and most respected voice in international broadcasting, bringing credit to Britain. It is the world's leading international broadcaster, attracting record audiences of 153 million listeners each week. It is rapidly developing into a multimedia broadcaster, using radio and the internet, for all its 43 language services. Its values of accuracy, impartiality, objectivity, trust and internationalism are respected globally.

The BBC World Service broadcasts in 43 languages including English. The other languages are: Albanian, Arabic, Azeri, Bengali, Brazilian, Bulgarian, Burmese, Cantonese, Croatian, Czech, French, Greek, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Kazakh, Kinyarwanda/Kirundi, Kyrgyz, Macedonian, Mandarin, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhala, Slovak, Slovene, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Thai,Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Uzbek, and Vietnamese.

In the UK, World Service is available on 648 MW in Southern England. In addition, overnight on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Ulster and via digital radio, digital satellite and the internet. Outside the UK, BBC World Service is available on short wave; on FM in more than 120 capital cities; and selected programmes are carried on almost 2,000 FM and MW radio stations around the world.

High quality reception of World Service programmes is available via satellite in Europe and North America. It can be heard on the BBC's digital multiplex in the UK, or in Europe on the Astra satellite, channel 926. The BBC World Service's award-winning website www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice - contains extensive, interactive news services available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Spanish, with audiostreaming available in 43 languages. It also contains detailed information about World Service broadcasts, schedules and frequencies in all languages.

About BBC Technology Ltd

BBC Technology Ltd began trading on March 31, 2001 and has been created to maximise the value of the BBC's unique experience in providing the technological backbone to complex UK and global broadcasting requirements. It has been set up as a wholly BBC-owned commercial subsidiary in order to generate commercial revenue, while continuing to serve all the technological needs of the BBC's public service operations. The company expects to be delivering revenue by 2004 that will be invested back into BBC programming. It also aims to reduce the BBC's technical costs of broadcasting across all platforms over the same period.

These objectives are in the context of the British government's challenge at the time of the last licence fee settlement for the BBC to raise #1.1 billion by 2006 through savings, efficiencies and increased revenue.

BBC Technology is able to draw on decades of engineering expertise, systems integration, IT and communications skills, including cutting edge innovation in digital transmission and broadcast systems control. Employing around 1300 staff, BBC Technology has already secured significant contracts for Media Communications, its Broadcast Network Control System and Consulting & Projects with customers such as Fox Digital, DirecTV, Loral CyberStar, TVNZ, BSkyB, UPC and RUV amongst others.

BBC Technology's web site can be found at: http://www.bbctechnology.com


About Jutel

Jutel is a well-proven expert of digital convergence offering highly sophisticated software solutions for a full range of needs in broadcast content management. Jutel's unique strength is based on its in-depth industry knowledge gained from radio broadcasting systems since 1984, that ensures a comprehensive understanding of its customers' business needs. Jutel has enjoyed a business partner relationship with IBM since 1995. In 1999 the two companies agreed to strengthen their relationship by signing a worldwide reseller agreement. This partnership delivers an unbeatable combination of software, hardware and industry expertise to implement Jutel's advanced RadioMan solutions on a global basis. Customers include major national broadcasters like BBC in the UK, RTE in Ireland, ERTU in Egypt and YLE in Finland who know that technical excellence can make a difference.

For further information:

Sue Faulkner
BBC World Service press office
Tel: 020 7557 2942
Email: sue.faulkner@bbc.co.uk
or

BBC Press Office (out of hours)
Tel: 020 8576 1865
or

Gillian Kenny
Press Relations Manager, IBM Global Services, UK
Tel: 020 7202 6264 (Internal 436264)
Mobile: 07764 290471 (mobex 267304)
E-mail: kennyg@uk.ibm.com
IBM Press Office Tel: 020 7202 3744

Jonathan Batty/Nicky Morgan
Brodeur Worldwide (on behalf of IBM)
01753 790700
jbatty@uk.brodeur.com/nmorgan@uk.brodeur.com
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