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Experts shed light on ‘big TV’ at summit

Abu Dhabi, October 23, 2013

Experts kicked off day two of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit discussing ‘big TV’ and  the challenges and opportunities of 4G.

Also discussed were local exports, content for wireless and the rising importance of women-centric programming.

In a session titled ‘Going Global – Opportunities and Challenges in a Media Centric World,’ Mark Hollinger, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International  said the network now operates in 224 countries with nearly 1.6 billion subscribers across its 42 brands. There was still place for what he termed ‘big TV’ in the digital world, he said.

“We do not want to kill off the golden goose of the pay TV model,” he said.

Manjit Singh, CEO, Sony India explained that in India, the media landscape is changing rapidly. With the advent of 4G and digitisation, the growth in India will be wireless, and it is skipping over the wired phase entirely.

“Short-form content will be watched on mobiles and smartphones and content for wireless will have to be different. Music and comedy clips work well. In India, the biggest use of the cell phone is to listen to music, it becomes your radio,” he said.

Discussing the impact of social media, both executives stressed it was integral to their businesses.

For Discovery, Hollinger said: “In a world with so much choice, there is more and more emphasis on super fans – for a show, channel or genre of content.”

Singh said that for Sony India, what is trending on Twitter is helping determine story tracks in their locally produced soap operas and that they are changing tracks due to the number of tweets and modifying programming accordingly, which is proving very successful locally.

“Local teams are sensitive to the sensibilities of the local market. We need to cater to local markets because the local population want to see local programmes,” said Singh.

Hollinger said Fatafeat, a top ten channel in the Middle East has the opportunity to take that programming to other markets due to its local success.  “If you can work locally and export that programming internationally, it’s a big win,” he said.

Both executives talked about the opportunity for women-centric programming, due to opportunities for factual TV targeting a female audience

In terms of opportunities for their respective businesses, Singh said that for India, with a TV penetration rate of only 63 per cent, taking the penetration rate to 100 per cent would mean 100 million more TV homes, and with this a proliferation of new channels in every genre.

Discussing the opportunity offered by HD, Hollinger said it was ‘key to growth’ in particular genres and that HD offered a great opportunity for Fatafeat and other channels to be distributed in HD especially in sports programming.” - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: abu dhabi | media | Summit | expert |

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