Corus opens new HQ

The mediaco unveiled its high-powered waterfront facility with a media event this week.

To get a sense of Corus Entertainment HQ’s new storage capabilities, it can hold about two petabytes – that’s 2,000 terabytes or two million megabytes, which is more than the Library of Congress.

And that’s just one of the impressive features of the new Corus Quay, a half-million square foot facility that spreads across 2.5 acres of Toronto’s waterfront, where the company has relocated all of its brands in TV, radio, production and publishing under one roof.

President and CEO John Cassaday presided over the official opening on Tuesday, noting that the new technological and storage infrastructure provides Corus with the opportunity to be a service provider for other broadcasters.

‘Our infrastructure can service a market as big as the US or the UK,’ Cassaday said, likening Corus’ potential to IBM, which began as a hardware company that evolved into a service provider.

He says his eye-opening moment came when he took a trip to the US and saw several Fox Sports Networks running out of one hub in Houston, but airing localized content in surrounding regions from that one location, rather than setting up shop in each of those cities.

And, given that Corus has the capability to house 60 channels, Cassaday feels that money should be poured into content instead of other companies spending on infrastructure.

‘Let the money be put on the screen instead of these systems,’ he says. ‘Everyone investing in their own rights management systems is insane. There should be sharing of these tools and people will eventually say, ‘How much can we save by doing this?’ Astral and Corus could do more together, and Shaw [could] be interested in leveraging plans going forward.’

Adds Cassaday, ‘Regulators are concerned about change. But failure to respond to change is extinction.’

Corus Quay also boasts technology that’s even more advanced than what the building’s media infrastructure developer Siemens used in the BBC’s new state-of-the-art Salford Quays facility.

‘Broadcast was a cottage industry, and what we’ve integrated now has been in the IT sector for years,’ Marcos Gonzalez-Flower says. The global head of media consulting for Siemens IT Solutions and Services added, ‘There was increasing pressure to speed up delivery of content and be more agile.’

The new HQ is home to 1,100 employees across Corus’ brands, and includes a 105-seat theatre that will eventually integrate 3D projection, more than 150 meeting rooms, and perhaps the most playful element: a three-storey slide that ends in the building’s atrium. It’s also an enviro-friendly facility with a five-storey ‘bio wall’ covered in plants, energy-efficient lighting and a green roof, to name a few features.

From Playback Daily