APTN (Associated Press Television News) has launched a multimillion dollar venture to help TV news companies cope with the demands of covering the upcoming war in Iraq, writes Sam Espensen.
The new service - APTN Direct - comprises two extra channels providing live coverage of events as they unfold in Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Israel, the US and the UK.
The London-based company invested in hardware, software and satellite capacity to be able to provide the new feeds. One hundred and twenty APTN staff with 40 cameras have been deployed throughout the Middle East and 12 satellite earth stations have been assigned to the region, five of which are truck-mounted. A satellite uplink truck has been in Baghdad since last October for transmission of APTN's news video feeds.
The extra resources will significantly increase the amount of live material available to TV news stations. APTN director of content Nigel Baker stated that the investment is the "biggest ever made by a television news agency in a single story".
The service is available to current Global Video Wire subscribers.