TLC Buy 5,000 Scala Licenses

Chris Sheldrake

Two weeks ago we heard speculation of a ‘5,000 License Deal For Scala‘ and guessed (correctly as it turns out) that it was the UK’s Life Channel (TLC).

Here’s the official press release from last week…

The Life Channel signs 5,000 player license deal with Scala

26 August 2009:

CAN Media Group’s The Life Channel out-of-home TV network is pleased to announce that it has signed a three year deal with Scala for the supply of five thousand Scala 5 player licenses.

The Life Channel was launched in 2004 and first implemented into GP surgeries throughout the UK. Today, the channel can be found in over 4,500 sites across the UK and Africa, including schools, surgeries, colleges, pharmacies, dentists, opticians, community areas and play centres. The Life Channel has incorporated the Scala 5 product into their Integrated Content Management Service (ICMS), which is currently being installed into all its contracted sites.

According to Phil Austin, Chief Executive Officer of CAN Media Group, the company is proud of their 5+ year relationship with Scala and see this latest agreement as a natural development of their global relationship.

“I have personally worked with Scala since 1997 and have always found their approach to product development very much aligned to the needs of the industry they serve,” said Austin. “The massive scale of expansion of the CAN Media Group across the UK and Africa is such that we had to be absolutely sure that we selected the correct Content Management platform; we are convinced that Scala 5 is exactly that.”

The ICMS solution, built by The Life Channel, is a suite of Digital Signage components that can be coupled together in a flexible way to meet the requirements of any client in the Digital Signage Industry. ICMS services include a ticker, automated weather, hourly news, regional and national content, message templates, uploading of content ‘online’, The Life Channel online Video Library, and the client proofing zone.

Heralded as one of the best ‘local community’ and health-related communication platforms, The Life Channel is the largest Community and Healthcare TV network in the UK and Europe, with an audience of over 5 million people per month. Doctors’ surgeries equipped with The Life Channel are able to communicate directly with people most affected by vital health issues; promote awareness of local needs; and encourage behavior change across a range of issues including healthier lifestyles and self-management of chronic conditions.

The Life Channel Schools network, launched by then Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2007, is an in-school television network owned and managed by the Life Channel. It is currently contracted in over 1500 schools, with a network growing rapidly across the UK. The network is underpinned in the UK by the Department of Health; Department for Children, Schools and Families; and programming is designed to follow The Children’s Plan and Every Child Matters. The channel also provides interactive capabilities for ‘school/college-specific’ programming, where teaching staff, pupils, students and local and national authorities can broadcast their own content. The Life Channel system is a sophisticated, campus-wide, digital notice-board which key stake holders can use to convey messages of health and well-being directly to students, teachers and parents.

Much of the content is produced by The Life Channel in response to teacher feedback and is also supplemented by appropriate third party programs, including the Central Office of Information. Content includes eating well; having an active, fun-filled life; respecting oneself and others – with significant emphasis on bullying and peer mentoring; avoiding drink and substance misuse; helping others and inspiring aims through achievement.

A study conducted in June 2009 by independent research consultancy ROI Team, found that 47 per cent of pupils who watched The Life Channel showed an improved knowledge of health and well-being issues and 25 per cent changed behavior in a positive way. Ninety percent of primary and secondary pupils believe the network benefits their pupils.

Based on the successful implementation of the service in Europe, the development of The Life Channel Schools network into Africa is part of a planned expansion. In connection to this, the network is promoting global partnerships through its unique platform between St Thomas More RC School (Specialist Sports College) in North London and The Solomon Mahlangu Freedom School in Pretoria, South Africa. Most recently, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has been appointed to The Life Channel Communications (Pty) Ltd’s board of directors in South Africa, in addition to agreeing to become the company Patron across Africa.

Gerard Bucas, Chief Executive Officer of Scala, said, “Having witnessed CAN Media Group’s rapid but well executed growth over the past few years, we are delighted that they again chose Scala as their software platform of choice for this major expansion of their network. We appreciate this vote of confidence in the field-proven stability and scalability of our platform by such a major network operator and Scala is delighted to continue our long lasting relationship with the CAN Media Group.”

1,500 further ICMS installations are scheduled for the balance of 2009; with 3,500 expected to be installed during 2010 and 2011.

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