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A Checklist for Networks

Mar 19, 2007  •  Post A Comment

TV networks consider a number of issues when deciding whether to build the software capabilities for a new online project or to outsource to a vendor.

Albert Cheng, executive VP for digital media at the Disney-ABC Television Group, said the media company must make the following evaluations:

  • Does it have the resources in-house?
  • What is the best technology to deliver the consumer experience?
  • What is the speed to market?
  • What are the long-term prospects of the features?
  • Can the software be used for other applications?
  • A media company also must consider the upkeep necessary for new software. Turner needs to keep in mind whether it can update the functionality regularly or if it would rather hand that task over to an outside vendor, said Scott Teissler, chief technology officer for Turner Broadcasting.

    When a network does outsource, there are benefits. “The advantage of outsourcing is you can have someone with a higher stake and more vested,” he said.

    Cost also is a factor. However, developing cost models is complicated because, for instance, a product may be used repeatedly or as a foundation for other features for sister networks. Also, if a company generates tremendous traffic from the solution, the investment is spread across a larger return.

    “The more minor the product, the more inclined you will be to outsource and save internal resources for things that will have a bigger impact and be more strategic,” Mr. Teissler said.