Tuesday, March 22, 2005

SBC Builds its Project Lightspeed IPTV Team

SBC announced the appointment of five television programming executives to its Project Lightspeed IPTV. The programming team is based in Los Angeles.

  • Amy Friedlander joins the Project Lightspeed team after work as a principal at Xanthum Partners of Santa Monica, CA. She was previously senior vice president of business development and general counsel at IP VOD provider Intertainer. She will oversee advanced products and new media.

  • Chris Lauricella comes to SBC from DIRECTV, Inc, where he was director of programming acquisitions. For the last eight years he handled their relationships with all sports providers, including the professional leagues, ESPN, regional sports networks and targeted sport-specific channels. He will manage sports programming for SBC.

  • Richard Wellerstein has more than 20 years of entertainment experience and most recently was vice president of theatrical programming & acquisition for iN Demand Networks, Inc. Previously, he worked for Sony Pictures Television and DIRECTV, Inc. Wellerstein will focus on video on demand.

  • Richard Levine is former acting director of programming acquisitions at DIRECTV, Inc. He will concentrate on local programming and broadcast retransmission.

  • Martin Sansing joins the team after serving as a staff consultant for the Roll Strategy Group in Los Angeles. He previously handled business development for Intertainer. Sansing will manage content strategy and new media.

  • Denita Willoughby has worked for SBC companies for more than nine years, most recently as vice president for business communications services. In her new role, Willoughby will concentrate on ethnic and emerging networks.

  • SBC Communications has selected the Microsoft IPTV Edition software platform for its Project Lightspeed initiative.

  • In November 2004, SBC Communications outlined operational and financial details on Project Lightspeed, its plan to deploy IPTV and other advanced residential services over an upgraded fiber access infrastructure. Commercial launch of IPTV services is slated for Q4 2005. SBC is aiming to reach some 90% of its "high-value" residential customers by 2007 -- about 18 million households.

  • SBC's video network architecture will include 2 national "Super Head Ends" where national content will be aggregated and VOD encoding will occur. SBC will build 40 Regional Video Hub Offices, which will provide video content storage, time-shifted TV and interactive applications. Local content aggregation will also occur in the Regional Video Hub Offices. The SBC video network architecture will also have a large number (about 140) Video Serving Offices for local distribution.


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