Launched in 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network delivering rural-related news and lifestyle content to 50 million Americans throughout the country. Faced with the challenge of rebuilding their network with an entirely new look, the network’s founder wanted to be “every bit as professional as the big boys” such as CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, but without the requisite costs.
The network approached its complete studio rebuild with a clear list of requirements. Chief among them was the ability to push a huge volume of high-quality data graphics to air. “News anchors are functionally dependent upon that graphic data,” says Gary Kanofsky, RFD-TV’s chief content officer and executive vice president of news. “This is key data that’s critical to amplify and clarify the story or package they’re talking about on-air.”
Finding a system to easily create, manage, distribute and play out stunning high-resolution 3D graphics and videos was critical. Being able to introduce real-time data from external sources—including social media—and manage, massage and cue that data to external sources for play out in real time was also key.
In addition to the on-air graphics requirement, the network wanted a complete studio display and management solution that would combine video processing and real-time graphics in one workflow. With two video walls and four other in-studio screens, RFD-TV needed something that was easy to control by the producers at the rundown level or by the TD in the control room.
When the network reviewed the solutions, Avid had the only studio production solution that met every one of the network’s functional requirements.
“Avid was tremendous at working with us to understand our functional requirements and to spec out a system that was more than robust enough. And the price point that they came in at, relative to our operational requirements, was phenomenal,” say Kanofsky.
In a streamlined six months, the new studio system was up and running, and has been a tremendous success with those who matter most: viewers. Audience members have flooded the network with comments that spoke not only to the more dynamic look, but also to its ‘watchability.’ Industry accolades followed soon after, earning RFD-TV a Cablefax Award for Best News or Series Program, a formidable win against CNBC, Robin Meade’s show on Headline News, and other programs from Al Jazeera and Oxygen.