Since 1986 Ravensbeck has created long term value for our clients and business partners in the media industry. The Ravensbeck team is currently committed to an exciting new project in Financial Technology. See more at hoptroff.com
We help build businesses for long term success, with an unrelenting focus on delivering bottom-line results
- Managed major global media businesses – Walt Disney International Television and Warner Bros Global Digital Distribution.
- Developed and implemented radical new strategies and transformed client businesses – leading international news bureau, leading educational publisher and major Studio outsourcing.
- Owned, launched (and sold) successful ventures – Hallmark International, Right Information Systems, Clusters, Pret a Manger, plus over 100 new TV channels and on-demand services.
- Currently leading the development of Hoptroff London Limited – Microsecond accurate Traceable Time as a Service
- Helping shape the future direction of the media world – Chair of IBC, Kirch Media insolvency.
We leverage our global Associate team to deploy the right resources, quickly and cost-effectively, to solve problems and exploit opportunities.
Hoptroff London Limited
How can you understand what happened if you don’t know when it happened and in what order? Would you trust a computer application that gave you different results on different machines? Then why do you trust the timestamp records from different machines whose server clocks each tell a different time? Enterprise wide timing synchronization delivered where you choose, without the need to deploy additional hardware.
- Hoptroff London has created a network of mutually resilient cloud timing hubs, each consisting of three nano-second accurate grand master clocks connected to three different sources of UTC to create a resilient feed of traceable time. These hubs continuously compare the different timing sources to ensure accuracy and source traceability are constantly maintained.
- At the data centre the customer establishes a secure connection to the timing feed via our connectivity partners and then downloads our AI enabled software to their servers that will synchronize the the local server clock to the best of the three timing signals and also measure the latency between the server clock and the application it is running, to establish the granularity of timing on each machine.
- The timing logs generated by the software are distributed back to the cloud and securely stored, so that they can be accessed at any time by the customer through the Hoptroff monitoring interface that generates alerts and supplies regular reporting to ensure customers can confirm that accurate timing and granularity are being maintained at all times.
Ravensbeck helps our clients drive superior value in these challenging times. We tailor our full range of strategic consulting services to deliver market-beating performance, turnaround and growth. We deploy a wide range of proprietary techniques, including innovative approaches to pricing strategy, customer segmentation and international roll-out and growth.
Ravensbeck’s team members come from a wide range of Media and Consulting backgrounds, with deep experience and understanding of the strategic issues facing Media businesses today. Our advice is built on years of experience and understanding of what real-life businesses can practically achieve, and proven success as managers and advisors. We build clients’ and partners’ commitment and ability to reshape their businesses.
Case Study: Global News Agency; Pricing, Packaging and Distribution
- New customer segmentation, enabling client to target attractive customer groups cost-effectively while increasing overall yield
- New competitive pricing strategy aiming to increase revenues by over 30% in 3 years
- Multi-territory packaging and discounting structure putting digital media and multiple product formats on a comparable basis with traditional media
- Best-practice licensing and distribution practices designed to recapture control of key IP rights
- Advice on practicalities of licensing renegotiations with specific major customers
Case Study: Global Broadcast Technology Supplier; Business Strategy and Shareholder Exit Plan
- Reshaped product/market portfolio and business and technical development investment plan vs main competitors
- Plan for becoming “go-to” technical expert in 3D TV
- Market entry strategy for new product and pricing increase strategy for major product upgrade
- Company repositioning for shareholder exit via sale or merger
Case Study: UK Market Leading Educational Publisher; Revenue Growth and Margin Improvement Strategy
- Complete overhaul of product range and customer portfolio
- Top to bottom refocus of operations, marketing and sales
- Vastly simplified, value-oriented pricing structure
- Revised international focus and growth plan
- Growth and M&A strategy for recapturing market leadership position
Case Study: European Market Leading Satellite TV Operator; Re-launch and Growth Strategy for Prospective Acquirer
- Reworked, value-based rights acquisition plan
- New packaging and pricing strategy, aimed at doubling market penetration over 5 years
- Simplified and focused organisation structure
Ravensbeck provides fully-scalable interim management resource, from programme management through to highly experienced C-level executives, available on a short or medium term basis.
Our team includes executives who have operated at senior management levels in markets around the world, but we have also worked in early-stage start-ups and one-off projects. Ravensbeck team members have been effective in a wide range of business situations, including crisis management and business turnarounds, implementation of strategic, operational or organisational restructuring and change, and the design, management and on-going monitoring of growth and development plans.
From the outset we plan our projects carefully and in detail with our clients, sharing our approach, timing and activity plans. This forms the basis of regular structured progress reviews and, if necessary, fact-based discussions of the need to change priorities and direction, well ahead of critical-path decision times. Our overall focus is to deliver successful outcomes, on time and on budget, with no unpleasant surprises.
Case Study: Global News Agency; Business Transformation Programme
- Growth and technology strategy definition
- Financial planning and implementation
- Day-to-day programme management
- Responsibility for delivering $100 million investment programme
Case Study: Mid East General Entertainment TV Channel; Launch Management
- On-site interim CEO from concept to launch
- Financial planning and control
- Scheduling, content strategy and sourcing, based on Ravensbeck’s proprietary viewing and advertising software
- Production model and facilities development
- Investor relations management
Case Study: US Multi-Media Kids Entertainment Brand; Operations Restructuring
- Facilities restructure
- Upgrade to HD digital technology
- New international multi-media growth and sector roll-up plan
Case Study: Major Studio Investment Portfolio; Business Turnaround and Growth
- Turnaround Directorship and eventual sale of minority stake in UK broadcaster GMTV
- Path-breaking revenue share and economic restructuring, leading to RTL2 becoming highest-margin German broadcaster
- Launch and Chairmanship of Super RTL, Germany, now the most successful and profitable free-to-air kids channel in the world
- Design and launch of Filmflex UK video-on-demand service, worth 10 times original investment, 5 years after launch
- Rescue from bankruptcy of Multicanal Spain, leading to sale at a valuation of $130 million
Ravensbeck offers a specialist team able to transform the media operations and supporting technologies of large to mid-sized international content aggregators and distributors.
Our team has worked in all the major markets, embracing content production, aggregation, and distribution for both linear and non-linear platforms. Our experience includes improving the quality, cost and speed of localising content for multi-language distribution, as well as accelerating the time to market from the point of initial acquisition, through editorial and technical compliance, up to international playout and distribution. Previous engagements have included all the aspects of commercial, people, process and technology transformation, optimising how media assets are managed from every perspective.
We adapt our approach to the culture and structure of our clients, ensuring our project and programme management disciplines can work in any organizational environment. Our team can fill any internal gaps in the short term, while we advise our clients on the best way to address skills shortages or inappropriate resource levels. We plan how the client organisation can develop effectively, as soon as is practical, so we can carefully pull back, knowing the improvements we introduce will be fully implemented and sustained.
Case Study: Northern European, multi-national media & broadcast group: ‘due diligence’ review, architecting the transformation programme, and delivery of multiple projects
- ‘Due diligence’ review of all media operations and supporting technologies for the private equity acquirer of the new group, a ‘carve-out’ from a larger Nordic group
- Worked with COO to architect the overall transformation programme, including separation of media and technology operations from the Nordic group
- Reviewed and re-negotiated a new partnership with an outsourced playout provider (another carve-out from the Nordic group, alongside the main group acquisition)
- Produced a new channel licensing framework for 13 channels, in the UK (Ofcom) and locally
- Designed and implemented HD upgrades for playout operations, the OB fleet, 4 news studios, other in-house production, and the content inventory
- Selected and implemented a single vendor solution for content acquisitions & finance, linear channel planning & scheduling, on-air marketing, VOD management, and airtime sales (replacing 5 disparate systems and integrations)
- Improved service delivery and cost management by the newly outsourced playout provider
- Strategy for licensing channels to optimize advertising and revenue opportunities
- HD-quality production and delivery for 4 businesses and 4 languages, with limited new investment
- Reduced costs and improved effectiveness of core business systems
- Improved visibility of group content acquisitions and finance.
Case Study: EMEA Division Global Kids channels and content producer; Create & Implement EMEA content localisation strategy and primary commercial partnership
- Designed the file-based localisation strategy in 16+ languages for pan-EMEA roll-out
- Architected and negotiated a “one-stop shop” partnership with a leading global localisation supplier
- Designed and implemented: new workflows; supporting systems & business processes, including the roll-out of ordering, tracking, approvals, translation and scripting, receipting and payment; managed piloting, training and roll-out across all channels in the region
- Implemented new SLAs internally and externally
- Established new roles for staff
- Overall Program management & assurance
- Reduced average timeline to 1/2 of previous
- Significantly improved quality of localisation
- Cost measurement (not previously available)
- Standardised approach, simplifying business rules & procedures
- Strategy for supplier management
- Improved visibility of the process, and accountability of individuals and teams
- New business applications, and made the MAM system fit-for-purpose.
Case Study: Global News Agency; design and programme manage implementation of new end-to-end digital systems, workflows and processes for world’s largest news agency
- Oversaw the creation of new digital roadmap to bring business into 21st century leading to total redesign of facilities, solutions, equipment and workflows
- Growth and technology strategy definition – transformation to global, file-based digital workflow
- Managed the budgeting and approvals process to gain investment required from board
- Designed and managed 2-year programme for implementation of new workflows, equipment and methodologies including training and recruitment
- Day-to-day programme management
- 13 individual strands of work around the world
- Responsibility to deliver $100 million investment programme
Case Study: 24-Hour multi-territory branded news channel
- Project Management for the launch of a multi-territory 24-hour branded news channel to include Technical, Operations, Finance, HR, IT, Marketing, Commercial
- Sourced studio locations in three countries and negotiated lease deals
- RFP for the design and build of the three studios
- Project managed tendering process and recommendation of final decision
- Project managed system integrator on the fit out and technical build
- Financial planning and control of entire programme
Case Study: Major British public broadcaster
- Evaluated and review current studio operating practices for the largest British broadcaster
- Proposed refinements to the business model
- How to maximise revenues and how to minimise cost base
- Review of global studio industry technical solutions
- Review of current studio utilisation and benchmark against global industry best practices
Case Study: State-of-the-art multi-media production & distribution centre in Middle East:
- Initial documentation of business intent & strategy
- High level concept design
- Workflow documentation & functional specification
- MAM, Technology & Lighting
- Staffing levels
- Managed entire RFP process
- Wrote document, managed tendering process
- Oversaw appointing of supplier, detailed design, technical sign-off
- Advised on contract process & budget planning
- Managed suppliers through build process including building, power, air-conditioning, recruitment, training, acceptance
- €22m Systems Integration contract
- Managed operational launch
- Advised on resource management system RFP, decision and implementation
- Produced technology roadmap for future growth
Ravensbeck provides a complete deal management service, from target identification and evaluation through negotiation, transaction management and post-transaction services. In addition to our core team, we can deploy and manage providers of specialist deal support functions.
Many well-thought through deal strategies in the Media sector have failed expensively for a variety of practical reasons, including poor negotiation, ineffective follow-through and inability to maintain a rigorous bottom-line focus within a creative environment. Ravensbeck’s team members have successfully led and concluded many media deals of all types and sizes in all important geographic markets. Examples include major mergers and acquisitions, sector roll-ups, disposals, joint ventures, long-term licensing and distribution deals and funding and investment.
We believe that transactions and deals need to be coordinated and managed on an integrated basis from start to finish, to give the best chance of “no surprises” successful and profitable outcomes. We are keen to demonstrate our commitment to this philosophy by taking part of our remuneration in the form of success-fees or carried interest.
Case Study: Sparrowhawk Media
David (CEO) and Tim (COO) were leading members of the management team which concluded a complex set of negotiations to purchase and fund the non-US assets of Crown Media, backed by a Private Equity consortium.
The team re-launched the Hallmark Channel around the world with a new look and feel, and a clearly defined market position and programming offer. We also launched Movies 24 and Diva, and set up the KidsCo joint venture.
Sparrowhawk concluded a series of new, advantageous distribution deals in a number of territories, culminating in long-term arrangements to maintain profitable 100% distribution in the UK with BSkyB and Virgin Media.
Finally, less than 2½ years after acquiring the business, the Sparrowhawk management team concluded a set of successful negotiations – during the credit down-turn – to sell Sparrowhawk to NBC Universal for approximately $370 million, a price which delivered over 30% IRR to investors.
Case Study: N1 Regional News Channel – ex Yugoslavia
In 2010, Ravensbeck partnered with Rusmir Nefic, a local media entrepreneur, to launch N1 – the local CNN affiliate 24 hour rolling news channel. The Ravensbeck team took a lead role in business planning and negotiations with CNN and with local investors. Ravensbeck worked with Rusmir to launch the channel, including overseeing development of on and off-air graphics and look and feel. N1 is now the leading news channel in the region.
Case Study: Potential Purchase of Channel 5 UK
For a major potential bidder, Ravensbeck developed a complete acquisition plan including a detailed model of Channel 5’s potential future programming strategy, audience share, advertising and profitability. Based on our advice and analysis, our client pulled out of the transaction as the target was likely to be overvalued by other bidders.
Case Study: Acquisition, Build and Sale of Global Leader Premium TV Channel
While at The Walt Disney Company, Simon, David and Tim led the project to buy equity stakes in HBO in Latin America and Central Europe. We structured and led negotiations, including a complex series of deals covering product supply, technical collaboration and channel distribution. Following the transactions, Simon and Tim were leading active members of the Boards of HBO Ole (Latin America) and HBO Central Europe, respectively.
By virtue of these deals, Disney’s transformed its position in the relevant pay TV markets, generating substantial licensing revenue and operating profits. Having achieved our strategic objectives, we sold these businesses back to the original owner at a very substantial profit.
Ravensbeck can provide a wide range of support services in Media-related legal cases and contractual disputes, including acting as expert witnesses, representing creditors and leading the renegotiation of distribution and licensing contracts which are in dispute or no longer working effectively.
Case Study: Expert witness in a range of Media-related commercial disputes, including:
- Valuing a TV channel business
- Identifying fair market distribution rates
- Establishing industry benchmark profitability ratios
- Describing industry “custom and practice” processes for a technical operations centre and a distribution agency relationship
Case Study: Media-specialist member of the Creditors Committee of one of Germany’s largest insolvencies, advising on:
- TV Broadcaster turnaround and disposal
- Long term library licensing terms
- Output deal renegotiations and buyouts
- Joint ventures
Case Study: On behalf of a global brand owner:
- Negotiated orderly termination of brand licensing deal
- Agreed appropriate compensation payments
- Planned and negotiated post-deal re-launch strategy