Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Goodbye BBC Television Centre, Hello MediaCityUK

Television Centre, home to the BBC since 1960, closes its doors for the last time on March 31. This week saw the BBC wrap-up its news broadcasting from Wood Lane and the One O'Clock News  on Monday 18 March marked the first domestic TV news programme to go out from the newly redeveloped £1 billion HQ and studios at New Broadcasting House, central London. All other departments from TV Centre, including BBC Breakfast, Children’s, Sport, Radio 5 Live, Learning, and Future Media and Technology are relocating to MediaCityUK, in Salford Quays.

It will be sad to see Television Centre go – the land is due for redevelopment into offices, flats, hotels, a cinema and private TV studios – but although it was state-of-the-art when it was built, it is now not serving its purpose.

MediaCityUK, on the other hand, is a brand new, high-tech development created specifically to attract companies from the media, digital and creative industries.  The area also boasts The Lowry arts centre (Greater Manchester’s most popular cultural tourist attraction), Manchester United’s Old Trafford, Lancashire Cricket Club and the Imperial War Museum North. To date, it has attracted not only the BBC, but ITV, Satellite Information Services (SIS) the University of Salford and over 50 creative companies from composer agencies to independent production houses.

But more important than the buzzing creative environment is the fact that it’s connected to one of the most advanced, high-capacity communications networks in the world and able to satisfy the needs of the media industry.

Today’s world of high definition digital TV was unimaginable back in 1960. Digital processes, new production workflows, delivery of interactive online sites, mobile television and OTT services such as BBC iPlayer are always hungry for more bandwidth. MediaCityUK, with its purpose-built infrastructure, creative village and 20 million plus metres of optical fibre for the high speed transmission of voice, data, high and standard definition video and wireless communications services is excellently set-up to be the home of the new BBC for the digital age.

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