Sajid Javid: Politicians should not control TV

15 Oct 2014
In his first major appearance as Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid outlined the many areas where he believes regulation is in need of review

We're gathered here today to talk about "Power, Politics & The Media". And I have a very clear view of what power politicians should have over the media. As little as possible.

Politicians and government have no business controlling television. What we do have is a role to play in making the industry work for viewers.

That's why we're going to look at whether the time is right to remove Section 73 of the Copyright, Design and Patents Act, which could allow PSBs to invest more in high-quality content.

Discovery: Brands are as important as content

15 Oct 2014
JB Perrette explains the thinking behind Discovery’s investment in sports networks and UK indie producers.

Discovery has become the world's number one pay-TV operator by the inventive use of popular documentaries and factual entertainment formats – but "in the world of the future, non-scripted content may not be enough".

So said JB Perrette, the London-based President of Discovery Networks International (DNI), a key division of Discovery Communications.

He oversees the operations and strategic development of DNI across 224 countries and 46 channel brands in 45 languages.

 

James Purnell on threats to the BBC

15 Oct 2014
BBC Strategy Director James Purnell is keeping his powder dry until Charter hostilities open in earnest

With the recent appointment of Rona Fairhead as Chair of the BBC Trust, potential licence-fee decriminalisation and pressure building on Charter renewal, James Purnell had plenty of questions to answer on the "Future of the BBC".

But despite the best efforts of writer and broadcaster Steve Hewlett, who chaired the session, the corporation's Director of Strategy and Digital managed to sidestep most of them during a good-natured, one-to-one interview.

Who should take a bigger slice of the IP pie?

15 Oct 2014
Steve Clarke tucks in to a smorgasbord of ideas about how rewards for IP holders could be more fairly divided

Put a broadcaster, a writer of hit shows, a high-profile veteran agent and a successful producer on a panel to discuss the thorny question of rights ownership in a changing and consolidating content market, and a tense, sparky debate is assured.

So it was in a session entitled "Whose IP Is It Anyway?", ably chaired by Alex Graham, whose old company, Wall To Wall, was bought by Time Warner seven long years ago.

What do Liberty Global want?

15 Oct 2014
Despite its spending spree in the UK, Liberty Global is still keener on pipes than poetry

In a week when ITV's share price was soaring in reaction to a rumoured Liberty Global takeover, Jim Ryan, the company's Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, had many questions to field.

Kirsty Wark put it bluntly within the opening seconds of an intense session: "What is going on?" she asked, before adding, "And what is Liberty Global?"

Well, it's the world's largest international cable company, dominated by the US media mogul, John Malone.

Have I still got news for you?

15 Oct 2014
Despite big challenges ahead, the leaders of BBC News, ITN and Sky News are bullish about their future.

Television news is going through a sticky patch, facing either cutbacks or audience flight – or both. City University journalism professor and former ITN boss Stewart Purvis, who chaired the session, outlined the two biggest challenges facing news organisations. First, providing more news for less money. Second, declining audiences, particularly among the under-35s, who, since the arrivals of tablets and apps, have migrated in large numbers to online and mobile platforms.

Scottish referendum debate goes digital

15 Oct 2014
Steve Clarke discovers which media played the most powerful role in the Scottish referendum campaign – and some lessons for the general election

A funny thing happened on the way to the Scottish referendum. As usual, people were out drinking and enjoying themselves in late-night watering holes across the country. But there was one big difference in their nocturnal habits – as they drank into the early hours, the conversation of choice was the independence vote.

“They weren’t fighting each other. They were actually having an intelligent conversation about politics – although it wasn’t always lucid.”

The revolution of the UK's mega-indies

15 Oct 2014
Are UK-based mega-indies pioneering a new studio model?

Take three forthright, confident, key players at the very centre of the fast-changing and consolidating British television market. Put them together on a panel overseen by Newsnight's feisty Kirsty Wark. Then listen hard.

This session fizzed, producing a stream of insights, strong opinion and – a rather British bonus – laughter.

Is this the beginning of the end for television?

15 Oct 2014
A panel of digital disruptors tells broadcasters and producers how to adapt to the new world.

For many new-media innovators, TV is the dinosaur of the digital landscape – over-sized and lumbering its way to inevitable extinction.

Nimble online outfits will replace it, they argue, offering viewers the content they want, when they want it and on the device of their choice.

But, according to the experts – all from internet-driven companies – assembled for the session, “The Future You Don’t Want To Face”, TV has plenty of life left in it.

Chase Carey: Content is king

14 Oct 2014
For Fox President Chase Carey, unique content occupies centre stage in a tumultuous media market, hears Steve Clarke.

Chase Carey, chief lieutenant to Rupert Murdoch since 2009, devoted much of his RTS keynote to emphasising how the success of 21st Century Fox is underpinned by great content such as The Simpsons, Glee and Avatar.

In a fast-consolidating media land-scape, where the traditional entertainment giants are challenged by the likes of Netflix and Amazon, the C-word is taking on a new pre-eminence. Every entertainment company is attempting to strengthen its content portfolio.

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