Technologies

The CW Network and Gray Television Expand and Extend Affiliation Partnership

the-cw-network-and-gray-television

The CW Network (The CW) today announced that it has expanded and extended its network affiliation agreement with Gray Television, Inc. (Gray). Gray will continue carrying The CW’s entertainment and sports programming on television stations in a total of 55 markets across the country, 42 of which are covered under the terms of the new agreement and 13 of which are covered by previous agreements with the network. In addition, beginning September 2, Gray will launch The CW on PeachtreeTV (WPCH-TV) in Atlanta, Georgia. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Gray Television has been a great partner of The CW from the beginning,” said Dennis Miller, President of The CW Network. “We look forward to sharing more success together as we transform and grow the network and add WPCH-TV to The CW’s expanding portfolio of affiliate partners. Atlanta is an important market for the CW, especially with ACC football and basketball debuting this Fall and NASCAR’s Xfinity Series racing coming in 2025.”
 

About The CW Network

The CW Network, LLC is one of America’s major broadcast networks and reaches 100% of US television households. The CW delivers 14 hours of primetime entertainment programming per week in addition to over 300 hours of sports per year as the broadcast home to LIV Golf, ACC football and basketball games, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning in 2025. The fully ad-supported CW App, with more than 96 million downloads to date, is available for free to consumers on all major platforms and is home to the latest episodes and seasons of The CW’s primetime programming, live streaming of LIV Golf tournaments and a library of entertaining film and television content for on-demand viewing. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading diversified media company and largest CW affiliate group with 37 CW affiliates, covering 32% of the population.

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Technologies

ARound and Immersal Team Up to Revolutionize Augmented Reality in Sports and Live Entertainment

PR Newswire | January 04, 2024

ARound, the pioneering shared augmented reality (AR) platform, part of Stagwell, is excited to announce a groundbreaking partnership with Immersal, leaders in spatial computing and AR localization technology, and part of Hexagon. By creating a turn-key WebAR solution for stadium AR, this partnership facilitates easier integration of shared AR experiences for teams, venues, and events, broadening the scope of interactive fan engagement. ARound and Immersal are poised to announce their inaugural collaboration with a major sports league next month, marking a significant milestone in bringing this innovative vision to life. This partnership combines ARound's connected, shared AR technology that has transformed live fan experiences for professional sports teams across three professional leagues – MLB, NBA, NFL – including the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Royals, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, with Immersal's visual positioning system (VPS) that creates centimeter-accurate, large-scale indoor and outdoor AR experiences. "This partnership is a game-changer in the world of sports and live entertainment as we collaborate to make stadium AR experiences more accessible and ubiquitous to all fans and types of events," said Josh Beatty, founder and CEO, ARound. "By integrating our fan engagement platform with Immersal's robust localization technology, we can seamlessly create dynamic digital experiences that put fans at the center of the action while scaling to new audiences around the world." The integration of ARound and Immersal technologies yields greater access and broader use cases of AR experiences through WebAR, enhancing the overall quality and ease of integration for in-stadium entertainment. Fans can interact with live events in real-time, participating in AR games, accessing real-time game content, and enjoying shared experiences with fellow attendees, all from their smartphones without the need for a standalone app. Brands and sponsors will also now be able to connect with audiences in innovative, meaningful ways, enhancing their marketing mix and creating new avenues for engagement. "We're committed to innovating and enhancing AR experiences at live events and our technology, combined with ARound's exciting platform, will set a new benchmark in how fans interact with live sports and entertainment, offering them an engaging and memorable experience like never before," Matias Koski, CEO, Immersal. This groundbreaking partnership heralds a new era in fan engagement, offering sports teams, venues, and brands an unparalleled platform to connect with audiences. Combining ARound's interactive fan experiences with Immersal's precision technology, the stage is now set for a revolution in live entertainment. About ARound ARound is a first-of-its-kind stadium-level shared augmented reality platform and is part of the Stagwell Marketing Cloud, a proprietary suite of SaaS solutions built for the modern marketer. ARound keeps audiences engaged by capturing their attention through immersive, interactive and shared experiences with fellow fans across the venue. Where other AR products offer isolating, singular experiences, ARound's massive multi-user AR – which uses 3D spatial computing to localize content – redefines what it means to be part of a connected fan experience. It was the winner of Stagwell's annual innovation competition which invests in new product ideas proposed by the network's 13,000+ employees. ARound and the Stagwell Marketing Cloud are a part of Stagwell (NASDAQ: STGW), the challenger network built to transform marketing. About Immersal Immersal, part of Hexagon, is building world-leading spatial mapping and visual positioning tools — the foundation of the metaverse. Founded in 2015, Immersal's team is based in Helsinki, Finland, and working with partners, developers and creators across the globe to reimagine how we explore, interact and create. Immersal also has sales offices in Hong Kong and in Silicon Valley, California, and is expanding its presence and partner networks globally. The company was acquired by Hexagon in 2021 and continues to pursue the vision of a metaverse built and experienced by everyone on any device. Hexagon (Nasdaq Stockholm: HEXA B) has approximately 24,000 employees in 50 countries and net sales of approximately 5.2bn EUR.

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Media and Broadcasting

SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS LAUNCHES NEW JOINT VENTURE WITH UK-BASED LIVE ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY, ROAST PRODUCTIONS

PR Newswire | January 11, 2024

Sony Music Masterworks, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, today announced a new strategic venture with Roast Productions, a live entertainment company founded by Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens. Based in London and operating internationally, Roast Productions focuses on producing theatre, concerts, and family entertainment events. Royal and Stevens will continue to lead the company's day-to-day operations and collaborate with Masterworks on the development of a range of new productions, working in close partnership with both Masterworks President Mark Cavell and Ollie Rosenblatt, founder and CEO of Senbla, a UK producer/promoter. Recent and current shows include MACBETH starring Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma playing in Liverpool, Edinburgh, London and Washington DC; 2:22 A GHOST STORY in the West End (Apollo Theatre), touring in the UK and Australia; CHRISTMAS ACTUALLY, a Christmas variety show curated by "Love Actually" filmmaker Richard Curtis and produced in partnership with Senbla; the highly acclaimed West End run of VANYA starring Andrew Scott; and the new musical COWBOY BOB at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX; as well as the 2024 UK tour of THE 13-STOREY TREEHOUSE based on the best-selling book by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. The company will also offer production, general management, and marketing services in the West End and beyond. At the same time, Roast Productions is pleased to announce strategic agreements with National Theatre Productions and Various Productions, as co-producer for STANDING AT THE SKY'S EDGE at the Gillian Lynne Theatre opening in February, and with the Ambassador Theatre Group, as Creative Producer of the inaugural WIMBLEDON CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL at the New Wimbledon Theatre, launching in Summer 2024. Mark Cavell, President of Sony Music Masterworks, said, "I'm absolutely delighted to welcome Bonnie and Michael to the Sony Music Masterworks family. Their creativity and expertise will further support our endeavours in securing and creating new quality and original live productions that will captivate and entertain audiences across the globe, and provide first-class content for our other partners to promote and market." Bonnie Royal and Michael Stevens, Producers and Co-Managing Directors of Roast, commented, "It is an absolute honour to join Sony Music Masterworks and develop new work and new markets together. The strength of its vision and values makes it the ideal partner for us as we develop a diverse body of work in the UK and internationally." Sony Music Masterworks' agreement with Roast Productions is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships and acquisitions advancing its growth as a multi-faceted worldwide entertainment business operating in more than 30 countries. The network of companies includes Black Ink Presents, a Los Angeles-based creative design and production services company; Culture Creative, a production and project management team specialising in developing site-specific and bespoke projects in unique heritage and landscape settings; Netherlands-based GEA Live, which designs, represents and produces shows and experiences based on prominent IP in music, film, television, anime and gaming; The Luna Entertainment Group, the UK market-leader of open-air, drive-in and pop-up cinema experiences which also stages high quality location-based entertainment experiences, exhibitions and events; MAC Global, an award-winning, pan-regional concert promotion, talent management, events and production company based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Proactiv Entertainment, the live event producer and promoter based in Barcelona, Spain; Raymond Gubbay Ltd., the music, dance & Light Trail/Lightscape promoter; RoadCo Entertainment, the New York-based producing and distribution agency specialising in live entertainment experiences; Seaview, the Tony and Olivier award-winning media company with theatre, film, TV, and digital verticals; Senbla, the London-based producer/promoter of quality music, theatre and immersive events, shows and festivals and Terrapin Station Entertainment, an artist management, tour production and sports/stadium consultancy company which specialises in family-friendly and brand-led events, immersive exhibits, game shows and charity concerts. ABOUT BONNIE ROYAL Over her career, Bonnie Royal has headed up an extensive and diverse portfolio of productions. Previously as Commercial Director of Fierylight, she worked with global brands including the children's entertainment icon PEPPA PIG for over 10 years (including 11 seasons in London's West End), and led the development and production of family titles such as Julia Donaldson's THE SMARTEST GIANT IN TOWN with Little Angel Theatre in 2020, which went on to have a sell-out UK tour and played an Olivier Award-nominated West End season. As Marketing Director, Royal's credits include The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company: PLAYS AT THE GARRICK season (which included THE WINTER'S TALE starring Dame Judi Dench and ROMEO AND JULIET starring Lily James and Richard Madden) to HAIRSPRAY (London Coliseum), CIRCUS 1903 (Southbank Centre), THE 39 STEPS (West End) and FLEABAG (West End), as well as the West End transfers of The Almeida's MARY STUART and the National Theatre's HOME, I'M DARLING. Most recent projects include Rodgers and Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA! (West End) and THE PADDINGTON BEAR EXPERIENCE (County Hall). ABOUT MICHAEL STEVENS With over more than 20 years in the performing arts industry, Michael Stevens has focused on creative collaboration, with a sustained commitment to the commissioning and production of new works. His work in an Executive Producer role with organisations – including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne – led to dozens of new (and many award-winning) creations across theatre, musical theatre, dance, opera, circus, classical and contemporary music, film, visual arts and in the digital arena. Returning in 2016 to London, Stevens co-founded Fiery Angel Entertainment, with which he introduced CIRCUS 1903 to London for four seasons at Royal Festival Hall and Hammersmith Apollo and BARRY HUMPHRIES' WEIMAR CABARET at the Barbican Theatre. New productions have included GUYS AND DOLLS at the Royal Albert Hall, directed by Stephen Mear with an all-star cast, and the European premiere of DOLLY PARTON'S SMOKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Southbank Centre, as well as touring projects such as ROB BRYDON – A NIGHT OF SONGS AND LAUGHTER (80 shows at London Palladium and on tour around UK/Australia/New Zealand); PEPPA PIG – MY FIRST CONCERT (Royal Festival Hall, London Coliseum, & 90+ UK dates); BLACK BLUES BROTHERS (UK regional tour) and TUBULAR BELLS – THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION (50 shows at Royal Festival Hall and on UK tour). ABOUT SENBLA A leading producer and promoter of hundreds of live shows around the world annually, Senbla provides a wide range of services in support of performing arts productions, artist tours, large scale artist concerts, and concept-based shows, as well as theatrical and family entertainment events. Its extensive capabilities includes licensing and production, plus management of all aspects of global Intellectual Property rights. The company has worked on numerous recent productions including the 'Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse' concert with live orchestra which played 85 dates globally; Michael Bublé at the Bath Royal Crescent; a run of Lionel Richie UK shows; Diana Ross's recent UK Arena Tour; concert with live orchestra dates from Ennio Morricone, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Joss Stone, The Holiday, Love Actually, and A Muppets' Christmas Carol; opera events, the Disney 100 UK Arena Tour, and Circus 1903. Senbla also is an investor in theatrical shows including "Six" on Broadway and its US Tour, and is a co-promoter and producer of shows internationally.

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Solutions

Sphere studios and stmicroelectronics reveal new details on the world's largest cinema image sensor

PR Newswire | January 12, 2024

Sphere Entertainment Co. revealed new details on its work with STMicroelectronics a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, to create the world's largest image sensor for Sphere's Big Sky camera system. Big Sky is the groundbreaking, ultra-high-resolution camera system being used to capture content for Sphere, the next-generation entertainment medium in Las Vegas. Inside the venue, Sphere features the world's largest, high-resolution LED screen which wraps up, over, and around the audience to create a fully immersive visual environment. To capture content for this 160,000 sq. ft., 16K x 16K display, the Big Sky camera system was designed by the team at Sphere Studios – the in-house content studio developing original live entertainment experiences for Sphere. Working with Sphere Studios, ST manufactured a first-of-its-kind, 18K sensor capable of capturing images at the scale and fidelity necessary for Sphere's display. Big Sky's sensor – now the world's largest cinema camera sensor in commercial use – works with the world's sharpest cinematic lenses to capture detailed, large-format images in a way never before possible. "Big Sky significantly advances cinematic camera technology, with each element representing a leap in design and manufacturing innovation," said Deanan DaSilva, lead architect of Big Sky at Sphere Studios. "The sensor on any camera is critical to image quality, but given the size and resolution of Sphere's display, Big Sky's sensor had to go beyond any existing capability. ST, working closely with Sphere Studios, leveraged their extensive expertise to manufacture a groundbreaking sensor that not only expands the possibilities for immersive content at Sphere, but also across the entertainment industry." "ST has been on the cutting edge of imaging technology, IP, and tools to create unique solutions with advanced features and performance for almost 25 years," said Alexandre Balmefrezol, Executive Vice President and Imaging Sub-Group General Manager, STMicroelectronics. "Building a custom sensor of this size, resolution, and speed, with low noise, high dynamic range, and seemingly impossible yield requirements, presented a truly novel challenge for ST – one that we successfully met from the very first wafer out of our 12" (300mm) wafer fab in Crolles, France." As a leader in the development and manufacturing of image sensors, ST's imaging technologies and foundry services cater to a wide range of markets, including professional photography and cinematography. Big Sky's 316-megapixel sensor is almost 7x larger and 40x higher resolution than the full-frame sensors found in high-end commercial cameras. The die, which measures 9.92cm x 8.31cm (82.4 cm2), is twice as large as a wallet-sized photograph, and only four full die fit on a 300mm wafer. The system is also capable of capturing images at 120 fps and transferring data at 60 gigabytes per second. Big Sky also allows filmmakers to capture large-format images from a single camera without having to stitch content together from multiple cameras – avoiding issues common to stitching including near distance limitations and seams between images. Ten patents and counting have been filed by Sphere Studios in association with Big Sky's technology. Darren Aronofsky's Postcard from Earth, currently showing at Sphere as part of The Sphere Experience, is the first cinematic production to utilize Big Sky. Since its debut, Postcard from Earth has transported audiences, taking them on a journey spanning all seven continents, and featuring stunning visuals captured with Big Sky that make them feel like they have traveled to new worlds without leaving their seats in Las Vegas. More information about The Sphere Experience is available at thesphere.com. For visual assets, please click here. About Sphere Entertainment Co. Sphere Entertainment Co. (NYSE: SPHR) is a premier live entertainment and media company. The Company includes Sphere, a next-generation entertainment medium powered by cutting-edge technologies to redefine the future of entertainment. The first Sphere venue opened in Las Vegas in September 2023. In addition, the Company includes MSG Networks, which operates two regional sports and entertainment networks, MSG Network and MSG Sportsnet, as well as a direct-to-consumer and authenticated streaming product, MSG+, delivering a wide range of live sports content and other programming. More information is available at sphereentertainmentco.com. About STMicroelectronics: At ST, we are over 50,000 creators and makers of semiconductor technologies mastering the semiconductor supply chain with state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. An integrated device manufacturer, we work with more than 200,000 customers and thousands of partners to design and build products, solutions, and ecosystems that address their challenges and opportunities, and the need to support a more sustainable world. Our technologies enable smarter mobility, more efficient power and energy management, and the wide-scale deployment of cloud-connected autonomous things. We are committed to achieving our goal to become carbon neutral on scope 1 and 2 and partially scope 3 by 2027.

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Solutions

Activity Stream and Project Admission Announce Strategic Partnership

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Activity Stream, the leading marketing platform for live entertainment, and Project Admission, the solution platform that makes buying, selling and distributing tickets for live events simple and intuitive, announced today that they have entered into a strategic partnership to further enhance their respective offerings for clients across the live event industry. "As we continue our journey to elevate every event, our focus on offering the very best data-centric products for live events is enhanced by strategic partnerships. Project Admission's transactional capabilities and innovative approach will empower our clients to better leverage their data in perfect harmony with our objectives." says Activity Stream CEO Einar Saevarsson. Adds Project Admission CEO Stephen Glicken, "From the moment we met Einar and the team behind Activity Stream, we knew there were tangible synergies between our companies. We are very bullish on the opportunities ahead for clients in being able to seamlessly leverage Activity Stream's marketing and segmentation tools that have been tactically developed to drive conversion in the live entertainment space." Activity Stream is a pioneer in data-driven solutions that increase profitability across every stage of the event lifecycle, servicing over 600 clients globally across more than 25 ticketing platforms. Activity Stream launched its Total Marketing Platform late 2021, an unparalleled industry-first marketing suite designed specifically for live entertainment. This groundbreaking platform empowers organizations to monitor sales and marketing effectiveness in real-time, gain deep insights into customer behavior, effectively segment audiences, and execute high-performance marketing campaigns with unmatched targeting precision and results. Project Admission, launched in 2018 and working with more than 50 professional sports teams across all the major North American sports leagues in addition to other key stakeholders in live entertainment, provides clients with unique monetizing features and opportunities around the life of the ticket, while also adding value and simplifying the commercialization of live events. From its customizable digital storefronts to its unrivaled bulk distribution tool to its season ticket management offerings, Project Admission addresses a breadth of ticketing needs from teams, venues and promoters' across live entertainment. "Ever since ticketing came online, there have been conversations about the opportunities to leverage data to better serve customers with customized, targeted ticketing offers," says Glicken. "We have finally arrived at the time where those conversations are a reality and it's at the nexus between Activity Stream and Project Admission." Both companies have shared a period of sustained growth. To date, Activity Stream is integrated with Ticketmaster, AXS, SeatGeek, Eventim, Tessitura, AudienceView, ShoWare and a host of others. In 2022, Activity Stream announced the acquisition of Yesplan, a venue management platform, and crowdEngage, a mobile and in-venue customer experience platform. Project Admission is integrated with SeatGeek and Tickets.com with a handful of notable integrations coming near term. The company also acquired Split Season Tickets in 2022 which is currently completing its integration with Ticketmaster as a Nexus Partner. Concludes Saevarsson, "We look forward to the year ahead with Project Admission as our partnership promises transformative experiences for our clients and their audiences, actioning data into material conversion." About Activity Stream Activity Stream envisions a world where live entertainment organizations have the power to create and deliver exceptional experiences for their audiences effortlessly. Drawing on our expertise in live entertainment and innovative technology, we've created a suite of solutions tailored to support live event organizers through every phase of the event lifecycle. From the initial conception of an event to the final settlement, our solutions help you manage your venue, build an audience, and deliver an unforgettable visitor experience. With 600+ clients across 20 countries, you will find Activity Stream solutions in many of the world's largest entertainment capitals. Learn more about our solutions and what we stand for here. About Project Admission With an extensive and flexible platform, Project Admission works directly with the live event industry to provide unique monetizing features and opportunities around the life of the ticket, adding value and simplifying the commercialization of live events. Project Admission's evolving suite of features currently provides clients across the NFL, NBA, MLS and NWSL with promotional tools to assist fans, brands, and influencers to sell tickets from custom branded storefronts. The company's current roster of clients includes the Tennessee Titans, New Orleans Pelicans, Florida Panthers, San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota United FC and St. Louis City FC, among others.

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