How A Public Broadcaster Doubled Their Video Consumption with Local Programming & Reliable Technology Partners

A major jump from linear broadcast to digital offerings required a cost effective and reliable solution that delivered a broadcast quality viewing experience online and ensured accessibility standards were met.

Knowledge Network is a publicly funded educational cable television network serving the province of British Columbia.

Broadcasting Industry
British Columbia, Canada Location
Increase Viewership and Accessibility Use Case
+ 55 % Viewership Growth
204 K Subscribers and growing
306 k Viewers a month

The Challenge

With a mission to bring public broadcasting to the province of British Columbia, Knowledge Network has been serving its community since 1981. Operating as an independent, government funded public education broadcaster (with the support of 42,000+ donors), Knowledge Network has broad but substantial goals to provide for its viewers in British Columbia.

As a truly independent voice and 100% free and commercial free, digital video allows them to reach more of the community with online video broadcast. Unlike other mainstream media outlets, where a few large and powerful corporations dictate content choices based on commercial interests, Knowledge Network focuses on content that is valuable and educational for British Columbians. Knowledge Network partners with independent producers to create award-winning documentaries and acquires dramas as well as a robust selection of kids’ and educational programming from Canada and internationally.

One of their challenges was the transition from linear to digital broadcasting to enable Knowledge Network to reach even more people across Canada. With its mission to be accessible for all it was vital for them to not only deliver a broadcast quality viewing experience online but to ensure they meet accessibility standards and build true engagement online.

Why JWP?

As Knowledge Network started to expand beyond their traditional linear broadcasting on cable TV, they needed a solution to offer their exclusive programming completely digital. As a publicly funded network, cost was a primary consideration, but it was equally important to maintain free and public access for their community according to local government regulations and accessibility concerns.

JW Player offered an easy and high quality video solution to accommodate Knowledge Network’s needs as they increased their digital presence. And, during the 2020 pandemic, when online video consumption increased globally upwards of 40% or more, it was especially important for Knowledge Network to provide uninterrupted service and unparalleled programming to serve their audiences effectively.

As the appetite and consumption patterns of online video consumption change and alter, JW Player is a partner in our success.

Ravi Singh | Director of Streaming Platforms | Knowledge Network

How JWP Responded

JW Player’s out-of-the-box web video player includes accessibility features such as keyboard accessibility (for web), screen reader support, and customizable closed captioning—essential features for a public broadcaster.

As Knowledge Network increasingly focused their commissioning on issues of relevance to British Columbians (everything from health and safety topics to regional stories), they saw immediate increases in consumption. With a trusted partner in JW Player, Knowledge Network can spend their time and energy focusing on content production and leaving the technical aspects to JW Player.

“We encode through JW Player and that’s been really seamless from the get-go. The metadata that gets attributed to those files, the different types of streams provided so that the whole management system is in place and how it all connects into the CDN. It’s all done on JW Player’s end so we don’t have to worry about it.” — Ravi Singh, Director of Streaming Platforms, Knowledge Network

The Result

55 % viewership growth 2019/20 to 2020/21
204377 subscribers and growing
306800 views per month

Numbers worth mentioning for Knowledge Prime (Knowledge Kids excluded)

  1. Viewership growth year-on-year:
    1. From 2018/19 to 2019/20 42% growth
    2. From 2019/20 to 2020/21 55% growth
  2. 204,377 subscribers and growing
  3. 306,800 views per month
  4. Knowledge Original Search and Rescue North Shore was the most viewed program in 2020-2021. Episode 1 had 16,014 video plays in the first week, and 29,060 in the first month.

As a public broadcaster, Knowledge Network needed a reliable technology partner. Funded in part by the government and donations from viewers, the broadcaster needs to make sure accessibility is accounted for and that their broadcasts can reach every citizen in British Columbia. JW Player provides them reliable technology so they can produce meaningful and engaging content for their regional audience.

“JW Player helps us keep up with the technology changes that people are expecting. We always have our eye on the gold standard (which I’d call Netflix). We’re always trying to see what we can do to improve our experience. JW Player is a partner in that, as the appetite and the consumption patterns of people change, we need a company that can back us on that and how we have to change.” — Ravi Singh, Director of Streaming Platforms, Knowledge Network

Ready to see JW Player in action?