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10 ways to control rights management

By: Spyros Poulis

Sports clubs, organisations or federations own huge library of intellectual property. From archive footage to the latest matches and live broadcasts, content is likely to be one of their most valuable assets.

This is undoubtedly true financially, with broadcast licences often worth many millions of pounds. Sky is thought to have paid £1 billion for its six-year Formula 1 deal in the UK, while the Premier League’s global broadcasting income is expected to total £10 billion over the next three years. 

Content is also the most powerful tool for attracting and engaging a wider fanbase and continuing to grow the value of your brand.

To realise the full potential of video and photo content, it needs to be licensed and distributed to broadcasters and other partners. At the same time content must be controlled, ensuring only licence holders get to access it – and only to the parts they’re licensed for.

Rights management is a critical function for a business, with the ability to secure and control content essential to maximising your brand or franchise value. 

How do leading sports organisations handle rights management?

Well-known sports organisations like The Premier League, WTA, and the International Tennis Federation have turned to media asset management technology for rights management. They use this technology as the front-end interface for their archive, improving processes and reducing manual error

Here are 10 ways that a media asset management (MAM) system will simplify rights management:

1. Preventing unauthorised access

With powerful and granular access management enabling complete control over who can see what content, access can be assigned to individuals or groups, and automatically expired when no longer needed.

2. Controlling unauthorised file sharing

Advanced controls prevent and restrict access to specific files. For example, expiring media links will be dynamically updated meaning any previous URLs are made redundant. This curtails and deters unauthorised file sharing.

3. Adding rights information

Automated metadata handling ensures that the existing rights information for assets is preserved and uploaded when the asset is ingested into the system. New data can be added automatically or manually in batch operations, or to individual assets.

4. Reading rights information

Rights metadata is clearly visible alongside, and exported with, files. Users, partners and customers have the information they need in-line, rather than in a separate platform, making it easier for them to understand and comply with licence conditions.

5. Watermarking

Preview content can be protected by your logo or other watermarks. For example, burning on-screen graphics or messages onto proxies before making them available for preview.

6. IP-based geo blocking

Prevent access to your library from territories not covered by the same rights restrictions, using geolocation restrictions. This may be suitable where content has a staggered global release, or for blocking access to content from territories in which you don’t own the rights.

7. Sunrise and sunsetting links

Adherence to the period of a licencing agreement can be strengthened by configuring content links that are only valid during that period.

8. Hiding or notifying on expired content

Rights-expired content can be hidden or restricted to preview only. As the expiry approaches, the media asset management system will auto-notify the rights manager to advise them that the rights need to be renewed.

9. Streamlining distribution workflows

The integrations and automations available in a media asset management system allow rights management to sit within distribution workflows, streamlining content delivery and reducing time to market. When rights management is integrated with distribution, errors are less likely than when they’re managed separately.

10. Generating new revenue streams

Advanced rights management and features like licensing baskets support the delivery of video on demand, and allow partner organisations to self-serve content.

Rights management and content delivery can be accelerated and simplified by deploying technology. Self-service, automation and streamlining all contribute to faster turnaround for customers, and reduced rights management overheads in the organisation.

This is particularly useful for sporting organisations which licence content globally across multiple broadcast or distribution partners. When a season can involve 23 race weekends, 38 fixtures – or literally thousands of matches – hours of time-sensitive, highly valuable footage can be added to the library every day.

Simplifying sports rights management has a major knock-on benefit for the organisation. Chief content officers, rights managers, media managers and broadcast service managers are freed from cumbersome systems, recovering more time to focus on maximising the return on their rights management programmes. New customers can be onboarded faster, and there’s more time to secure new partners and evaluate other revenue streams for the content archive.

The long-term advantages of Media Asset Management (MAM) platforms

We’ve focused on the benefits of MAMs as a rights management solution, but they have multiple advantages throughout any organisation that distributes or works with video and other media. Among these, storing, securing and providing controlled access to large media archives. With extensive metadata support and powerful search, it’s easier to organise your library, and find content within it.

This has a benefit internally , through time savings and efficiencies, but it’s also a great help when dealing with affiliates, as Imagen customers including WTA MediaIMG Replay and Chelsea FC can attest. 

A media asset management system like Imagen Pro allows organisations to create branded, self-service portals, where media partners can go to search, find and even license the content they need. Imagen’s automated distribution and accelerated file download technologies can push relevant content to subscribers and ensure that file transfers are secure and blisteringly quick, wherever partners are in the world.

Content remains secure, searchable, and ready to serve up. Advanced rights management features protect IP through careful and effective rights management, while still getting your most valuable content out quickly to the widest audience possible.

Our powerful rights management tools help some of the world’s top sporting organisations secure their IP. Discover how Imagen can help you manage and distribute your sports content.

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