HITS, Digital Media Centers Merge

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AT&T Broadband has decided to merge its Headend in the Sky
video-transmission subsidiary into its Digital Media Centers video-production
and interactive-services operation.

The idea is to create an all-in-one content-origination, production and
transmission service not only for video customers, but also for emerging
new-media markets.

Founded in 1994, HITS delivers digital Moving Picture Expert Group
television-programming feeds to most major U.S. cable operators via 14 satellite
transponders.

The Digital Media Centers subsidiary provides digital-production and
distribution services, and it has just recently delved into such new-media
applications as interactive TV and video streaming.

Marrying the two units gives AT&T Broadband a content-production and
delivery shop for broadcast and Internet services under one administration,
according to DMC senior vice president of video services Gary Traver, who was
tapped to run the combined entity.

The two operations are both headquartered in AT&T Broadband's Digital
Media Center in Englewood, Colo. But up to now, they have operated separately,
even though they often shared customers.

That factor was one catalyst for the merger, Traver said.

Another catalyst for this move was the growth in new media, including
high-speed Internet and interactive-TV applications that require more synergy
between how content is created and distributed.

The combined units will be better able to hunt for business in other sectors,
including multimedia corporate training, communications and
marketing.

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