The days of satellite uplinks are over as news distribution takes to the cloud, led by a team of keen Victoria minds and an intrepid former broadcaster.
When your first sale is to the Canadian Olympic Committee to provide services for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, you know you’re onto something good. SendtoNews.com is a unique cloud-based solution that provides news feeds to media outlets on a pay-as-viewed basis. Former CHEK and BCTV broadcaster Keith Wells is the idea man behind the concept.
Greg Bobolo, president and CEO, says, "Keith had this great germ of an idea when he was at the Nagano Olympics and figured that if you could combine the news feeds and target specific markets, advertisers would find this really attractive.” Wells was right.
With no advertising or branding, SendtoNews currently has 900 newsrooms subscribing to its service.
“British Columbia is the ideal marketplace,” says Bobolo. “It has the most-watched news in North America. We thought if we could target local news to local markets we would be successful.”
Two stories brought SendtoNews to the front of the line as news providers. The first was the infamous rant of Jim Playfair, an American Hockey League coach, who was, to put it mildly, a little upset at a referee’s call.
“What was interesting about that,” says Bobolo, “is that the video was filmed by the club, not a news organization. It took all of 20 minutes from the time we got the clip and sent it out to having it broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada.”
The upshot is that the AHL “is now one of our major clients,” Bobolo says. “We send news video of local games and home-town TV stations pick them up and broadcast them.”
The second incident that helped put the company on the map was the horrendous sled-dog massacre in Whistler. SendtoNews obtained exclusive rights to that story — and more than
120 million people saw it.
The company’s AHL experience has led to discussions with the National Basketball Association. SendtoNews would work with the NBA’s developmental league, promoting teams in local markets. It has already secured deals with Rugby Canada, Swimming Canada, Rowing Canada, the Canadian Professional Golf Tour, and several other amateur and professional sports leagues and associations. SendtoNews is currently negotiating with the Canadian Olympic Committee for the 2012 Games in London.
“We are moving into a sales and marketing process now to build the company,” says Bobolo, “and we expect substantial growth by 2013.”
If its success to date is any indication, a great news story is on the horizon for this Victoria company.
Type of business: Cloud-based news content distributor
Year founded: 2009
Owners/principals: Greg Bobolo, Keith Wells,
Art Aylesworth, Peter Beblo,
David Davies, Marc Hoelscher
How many employees: 14
What sets you apart from your competition: At a time when newsgathering and distribution are being shaken to the core by new technologies, and who collects and disseminates the news is being redefined, SendtoNews is rising as the unifying technology between creators and distributors.