WRAL-TV Launches Landmark Project to Bring Programming to Viewers’ Online

WRAL-TV 5 logo

WRAL-TV Launches Landmark Project to Bring Programming to Viewers’ Online

“You can get us [WRAL-TV] off the air, you can get us on cable, you can get us on satellite and we want you to be able to get us live, real-time, on the Internet.” – CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon

WRAL-TV Announcement
WRAL-TV & its parent-company, Capitol Broadcasting, made a major announcement to the media on Wednesday, February 1st.

Local WRAL-TV viewers can visit the station’s website, WRAL.com, to watch select WRAL newscasts live via streaming video. Now the Triangle CBS affiliate is launching a landmark service to provide even more to its viewers.

In the past, WRAL-TV has run into the hurdle that Internet surfers from anywhere in the world can access its online broadcasts. That meant copyright and programming issues kept WRAL-TV from broadcasting its signal 24-7 via the Internet. Thanks to new technology from the Iowa-based Decisionmark, this issue will no longer be a roadblock.

Jack Perry
Jack Perry, CEO of Decisionmark, outlines the new technology.
Full Screen Video Stream
Computers can virtually become television sets when WRAL-TV viewers watch WRAL programming online.
Jimmy Goodmon
CBC New Media Group Director of Technology Jimmy Goodmon demonstrates video play back via cell phone.

Titancast, Decisionmark’s revolutionary Air to Web Broadcast Replication technology will enable WRAL-TV to retransmit its broadcast signal over the Internet, making them the first station in the country capable of streaming local, network and syndicated content over the Internet, but within the bounds of their over-the-air signal area.

Ed Wilson
WRAL-TV News Photographer Ed Wilson captures the action as WRAL makes its big announcement.

Coverage map
This coverage map shows the viewers in the WRAL programming area, and only those viewers will be able to access the station’s stream online.
Phone Stream
Reporters in attendance got to see the streaming via phone & computer.

Local viewers will be able to access this service by going online and entering their credit card information. The billing address for the card, accessed by TitanCast, will confirm that the viewer is within the WRAL-TV viewing area. This new technology will ensure that only those within the reach of the WRAL over-the-air signal will be able to access their programming online. The live streaming will be free, but for a fee, viewers will be able to download programming to watch later.

David Crabtree & Jack Perry
WRAL-TV Anchor David Crabtree (center) questions Jack Perry (right) about the logistics of the new technology.
Jim Goodmon
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon says Titancast will offer unlimited opportunities for both the networks and the affiliates

Renee Chou
WRAL Anchor/Reporter Renee Chou listens intently as her station makes history. She covered the media event for WRAL-TV and reported live after the event on the noon news.

Goodmon calls the plan an extension of localism. It gives WRAL-TV another way to access its local audience and gives that audience another way to access WRAL-TV.

“We want you to be able to get us live over the Internet,” said Goodmon. “There is going to be more viewing of television on computers, and we want to do it live.”

The Apollo Project consists of three phases:

  • Phase 1 – the pilot stage – enables employees of WRAL to access their local programming content over the Internet both synchronously and asynchronously.
  • Phase 2 of the project allows all people living in the Raleigh market to access their local content over the Internet.
  • Phase 3 – The mission of the Apollo Project is to offer CBS Network content to all viewers in a way that sustains and enhances the network-affiliate model. At this time, CBS has been non-committal on whether to allow their affiliates to deliver network content over the Internet.

WRAL & Titancast logos

“In order to watch WRAL, you need a television,” said WRAL-TV Reporter Renee Chou. “Someday you may only need a computer and the Internet.”

Why this new technology? The global nature of the Internet has made distributing network content virtually impossible for local broadcasters, since affiliate agreements grant broadcasters an exclusive geographic license covering the signal area. As a result, networks have struck partnerships with other Internet-based distributors, cutting out their local affiliates.

WRAL is kicking off this new service by making local news and entertainment available. They hope to increase advertising sales with this additional broadcast medium and keep up with viewer demands to access television online.

Comments are closed.