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THE MAGAZINE OF INTERNATIONAL MEDIA • APRIL 2010

www.worldscreen.com

MIPTV Edition

25 th Anniversary Edition

Al Gore Chase Carey Gerhard Zeiler David Zaslav Jeremy Darroch Markus Schächter

House Call

Hugh Laurie


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APRIL 2010/MIPTV EDITION

Publisher Ricardo Seguin Guise

departments PUBLISHER’S NOTE

14

Editor Anna Carugati

Ricardo Seguin Guise reflects back on 25 years of World Screen.

Executive Editor Mansha Daswani

WORLD VIEW

16

A note from the editor. GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

18

By the International Academy’s Bruce Paisner. UPFRONT

22

New shows on the market BEHIND THE SCENES

56

House’s Hugh Laurie. IN THE NEWS

62

Shine’s Elisabeth Murdoch. CREATOR’S CORNER

64

74

171

223

industry trends

74

68

DEMANDING VIEWERS

This special report on how on-demand is changing the way we do business includes in-depth interviews with News Corporation’s Chase Carey, RTL Group’s Gerhard Zeiler, Discovery’s David Zaslav, HBO’s Bill Nelson, Sky’s Jeremy Darroch,Tornante’s Michael Eisner, Liberty Global’s Mike Fries, Starz’s Chris Albrecht, Scripps Networks’ Ken Lowe, BBC’s Erik Huggers and Comcast’s Derek Harrar. —Anna Carugati

MARKET TRENDS

special report

115

Endemol’s Tom Toumazis and Cathy Payne. 70

Shaftesbury’s Christina Jennings.

25 YEARS OF WORLD SCREEN THE SILVER EDITION

72

one-on-one

WORLD’S END

171

502

In the stars.

NEWS CORPORATION’S CHASE CAREY

The deputy chairman, president and COO of News Corporation talks about adapting traditional media assets in order to remain at the forefront of the digital world. —Anna Carugati

on the record

223

Online Director Simon Weaver Art Director Phyllis Q. Busell Sales and Marketing Director Tatiana Rozza Sales and Marketing Manager Kelly Quiroz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator Cesar Suero

This commemorative special report features excerpts from our interviews with the media industry’s biggest names from the last 25 years.

E1’s John Morayniss.

Production and Design Director Lauren M. Uda

Business Affairs Manager Rae Matthew

—Anna Carugati

SPOTLIGHT

Editor, Spanish-Language Publications Elizabeth Bowen-Tombari Executive Editor, Spanish-Language Publications Rafael Blanco

NCIS’s Shane Brennan. IN FOCUS

Managing Editor Kristin Brzoznowski

RTL GROUP’S GERHARD ZEILER

Senior Editors Bill Dunlap Kate Norris Jay Stuart George Winslow Contributing Editors Lisa Haviland Grace Hernandez Bin Liu José Miguel López Spencer Sunshine Contributing Writers Dieter Brockmeyer Chris Forrester Bob Jenkins Elena Mora David del Valle David Wood

Overseeing a portfolio of 40-plus channels in 11 countries, RTL Group’s CEO is passionate about the resilience of broadcasting and the importance of high-quality content. WORLD SCREEN is published seven times per year: January, April, May, June/July, October, November and December. Annual subscription price: Inside the U.S.: $70.00 Outside the U.S.: $120.00 Send checks, company information and address corrections to: WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, Suite 1207 New York, NY 10010, U.S.A. For a free subscription to our newsletters, please visit www.worldscreen.com.

—Anna Carugati

in conversation

271

AL GORE AND JOEL HYATT

Al Gore discusses his views on the media, democracy and today’s youth, and, with Joel Hyatt, talks about the latest developments at Current Media. —Anna Carugati

VISIT HUNDREDS OF DISTRIBUTORS’ SCREENING ROOMS AT

www.worldscreenings.com 10

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4/10

Ricardo Seguin Guise, President Anna Carugati, Executive VP and Group Editorial Director Mansha Daswani,VP of Strategic Development WORLD SCREEN is a registered trademark of WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, Suite 1207 NewYork, NY 10010, U.S.A. Phone: (212) 924-7620 Fax: (212) 924-6940 Website: www.worldscreen.com ©2010 WSN INC. Printed by Fry Communications No part of this publication can be used, reprinted, copied or stored in any medium without the publisher’s authorization.


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The laughs are back! Already renewed for a second season. ®

Now with 26 hilarious half-hours. HBO’s critically acclaimed new comedy series.


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contents

APRIL 2010/MIPTV EDITION

IN SEARCH OF A GOOD DEAL Surveying some of the region’s top buyers about their programming needs 190…TIME FOR CHANGE Developments in the British market 198…30 YEARS OF CANALE 5 The broadcaster is celebrating 30 years of entertaining Italian viewers 210…ANTENA 3 AT 20 The Spanish network marks a key milestone 216…INTERVIEWS ZDF’s Markus Schächter 206… Sky’s Jeremy Darroch 208…FremantleMedia Enterprises’ David Ellender 220 GETTING SCIENTIFIC Science docs continue to entertain audiences 248…PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE The latest trends in travel series 254…INTERVIEWS Discovery’s David Zaslav 258…Brian Greene 262…Brian Lapping 264…NOVA’s Paula Apsell 266… PROFILE NHK’s Sayumi Horie 268

MAKE WAY FOR 3D The prospects for 3-D TV 306…HANGING TOUGH What’s new at the global channels 314…PAIRING UP Co-pros take center stage 322…INTERVIEWS BBC Children’s Joe Godwin 328…Disney Channels’ Carolina Lightcap 332… Lagardère Active’s Pierre Belaïsch 336…Mondo TV’s Matteo Corradi 340…Marvel’s Eric Rollman 344…Rainbow’s Iginio Straffi 346…Fresh TV’s Tom McGillis 348 A HEALTHY START A well-executed good idea is still the key to success in the format business 372…HUNGRY FOR LOVE The appeal of wedding and dating formats 380…INTERVIEWS BBC Worldwide’s Wayne Garvie 388…Endemol’s Tom Toumazis 394…PROFILE Global Agency targets buzz-worthy formats 396 RISING DRAGON A look at the Chinese media landscape 406… INTERVIEWS GMA Network’s Felipe Gozon 410… Turner’s Ian Carroll 412

asia pacific AN OASIS OF OPPORTUNITIES Distributors’ sales strategies 422…CONTINENTAL SHIFT Networks’ acquisitions needs 426…INTERVIEW twofour54’s Wayne Borg 428

MORE THAN NOVELAS Latin American distributors have diversified their content

These targeted

offerings 450…INTERVIEWS Fox Television Studios’ Emiliano Calemzuk 458…SBT’s Daniela

magazines

Beyruti 460

appear both inside THE LEADING SOURCE FOR

World Screen

PROGRAM INFORMATION Listings of distributors attending MIPTV 463

and as separate publications.

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publisher’s note

25 YEARS IN THE BUSINESS RICARDO SEGUIN GUISE

The Marble Revolution It all started with Uncle Chuck and his fascination for collecting and painstakingly reconstructing old things, from numerous specimens of the earliest automobiles ever assembled to a full-size pirate ship. As I was about to go looking for a job in New York, he gave me his ancient refurbished briefcase and wished me good luck. I needed it—I was a Brazilian without a green card or any experience trying to find work during the worst recession in decades. After several months of rejection, my phone rang. It was my mother calling from London to tell me that she had been discussing my sad little existence with a friend during lunch, and that her friend had offered to arrange for me to meet with the CEO of a big life-insurance company. I tried to tell my mother I did not think I would be happy with a career in life insurance, to which she replied,“How do you know if you never tried it?” That’s the same line she used when she first introduced me to okra at age 4. I was in no position to argue with her—the situation was dire, and if I did not find a company to sponsor me, I would be kicked out of the United States. Life insurance it was! The office was at the World Trade Center. I entered the elevator and pressed 102. Suddenly I HERE, TOO, was propelled upward to my new life. My ears were popping. My hands were sweating. My heart was my mutinous mind was silently repeat“CONTENT IS racing.And ing: Life insurance? I then went back to rehearsing my lines. Oh, yes sir, while my first-grade friends KING,” AND THIS wanted to be firemen and astronauts, I always wanted to sell life-insurance policies…that was an obsession of mine right about the time I started 25TH-ANNIVERSARY eating okra. As I wondered about the long-term health risks of going up and down 102 floors in a EDITION IS A fast-moving elevator every working day, the doors opened and I entered the place where I might be spending my future.And the future was mahogany! ROYAL TREAT. Every wall, every ceiling, every desk, every lamp, every arm of every chair was mahogany. No room for dissent here—you’re into mahogany or you’re out! As I waited for my fateful appointment, I noticed that the employees’ faces were so joyless. Even the young people seemed to have accepted mahogany long ago, probably without even putting up a fight. I wanted to scream, “Marble!” but before I could, I was ushered into the CEO’s office. As I entered his cavernous den, he greeted me with the same funereal tone I had encountered at the reception area. He was a little man, with a face as weathered as the wood around him, sitting behind an enormous desk. I was 14

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told to sit on a chair located 20 feet away from him. It was a formidable display of power—the 102nd floor, the ocean of mahogany, the huge distance between us—and it worked. I was petrified. The gloomy CEO was clearly unhappy to be spending his precious time doing this favor for my mother’s friend. When he asked for my résumé, I tried to open my uncle’s historic briefcase and, to my horror, it was stuck! I desperately attempted to unlock it—my fingers hurting from the effort—but it would not budge. I applied so much pressure on the hinges that one of my thumbs started to bleed. He then picked up the receiver of one of the three black phones placed in a row on his desk and asked the secretary to come in and escort me out. Having been saved from the insurance world by Uncle Chuck’s briefcase, I ended up getting a job at a magazinepublishing company, and it took me a very long time to learn all there is to know about my job. Publishing is an art form.Yes, it does cost a lot of money to put out an issue like the one you’re holding, but not once in all these years did we ever think of cutting corners.This may seem hopelessly romantic, but it has worked wonders. Our supporters see the value in what we do, and the company has grown exponentially. The change experienced by this company since our 20th anniversary has been astonishing. We have evolved into a multimedia-publishing firm that puts out two daily and seven weekly online newsletters, maintains two video portals and runs 15 websites. But expansion and transformation could not have been successfully accomplished without paying attention to what made us so special from the very beginning: an undying commitment to excellence and accuracy. This commitment—bordering on obsession—is in the DNA of our entire team. We would not be here today without the consummate devotion and professional ambition of our editors, under the leadership of Anna Carugati. Here, too,“Content is king,” and this 25th-anniversary edition is a royal treat. It is also the fruit of a lifetime of work in the business I so much adore. Long live marble!

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world view

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR ANNA CARUGATI

Thank You, Lady Luck I’ve been blessed in life with more than my fair share of good fortune: loving parents; two healthy and amazing children who have made me a better person; and a career as a journalist that has given me a front-row seat to major developments in the media business for the past three decades. Lady Luck first smiled on me when I got a job at CBS and learned from the best journalists in the business. Painfully shy and insecure, I was armed only with my father’s dictum,“You’re only as good as your last job,” and an extraordinary fear of failure—which should never be underestimated as a powerful motivating force. I was intimidated as hell by reporters who could think quickly on their feet, make prose sing, and match compelling video to their words.As a field producer, my closest relationships were with the cameramen,most of them Irish, with a strong liking for whiskey and Frank Sinatra; they instilled in me the essential values I still hold dear today: “Carugati, remember, you’re telling a story—grab the viewer with the first sentence or you are dead. Remember there is always more than one side to a story and the money right.Without the money angle I’VE BEEN BLESSED get there is no story.” As a result I’ve always craved context, explaWITH A CAREER... nation, revealing the facts and giving the whole story. Which brings me to the next stroke of good fortune that was bestowed upon me— THAT HAS GIVEN meeting the publisher of this magazine, who shares a commitment to thorough reporting and ME A FRONT-ROW quality publishing. In my years at World Screen, I’ve had many wondrous experiences:Ted Turner telling me SEAT TO MAJOR about how he came up with the idea for CNN, Cartoon Network and TNT but the boat with documentaries, and DEVELOPMENTS missed praising John Hendricks for launching Discovery. Hendricks explaining his strategy IN THE MEDIA for acquiring shelf space on cable and satellite platforms. Rupert Murdoch telling me what gives him his drive (each day improving on BUSINESS. what he did the day before) and challenging anyone to show that FOX News has any bias to it. Peter Chernin trying to rein in James Cameron’s budget on Titanic. Michael Eisner, as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, saying he didn’t really get involved in programming decisions, he just cruised the halls a lot to find out what was going on. Richard Parsons recounting how he tried to bring together the vastly different corporate cultures at AOL and Time Warner. Jeffrey Bewkes explaining how franchise movies improve the economics of mid-size 16

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movies.Sumner Redstone boasting about how the Chinese premier took a five-hour train ride just to meet him and the Viacom delegation. Matt Groening explaining that stupidity is a universal character trait and the way The Simpsons laughs at American culture may contribute to its international success. Steven Spielberg wondering if consumers’ penchant for viewing movies on small screens will prompt directors to stop shooting wide shots. Marc Cherry revealing how his mother helped inspire Desperate Housewives and Ricky Gervais revealing his love for the comedy of embarrassment and finding the worst thing a character can say. Ken Burns affirming that there is absolutely nothing real about reality TV and Mark Burnett thanking America for giving him a chance in the TV business when he was down and out. Anne Sweeney telling me how Disney decided to make its TV content available on iTunes and Bonnie Hammer explaining how cable “scrappers” had come up with a less expensive way of producing quality TV series. I was reminded of all these special moments while I was choosing quotes for the Silver Edition in this issue, with which we celebrate our 25th anniversary. We have collected the best quotes from the vast array of CEOs, programmers, producers, distributors, filmmakers and creators we have interviewed over the years. And in this issue, Lady Luck graced me with her presence once again. I had the honor of talking to Al Gore about the impact of media on the democratic process, I had the thrill of discussing the craft of acting with Hugh Laurie (Mom, I actually talked to Hugh Laurie!), and I was awed by the intellect of the physicist Brian Greene. True to our commitment to in-depth reporting, we have features that examine the impact of on-demand viewing; the British TV market; China’sTV market; the future of the format business; and trends in children’s, factual and reality programming.We also launched TV Middle East & Africa, a targeted publication covering that area of the world. Not only am I lucky, I am extremely grateful.There are many executives who through the years have always been available to answer my questions, on the record and off, but toward some I have a special debt of gratitude: Gerhard Zeiler, Anne Sweeney, Mark Kaner, Herb Lazarus, Brian Lacey, Rainer Siek and Greg Phillips.And I thank my children for their patience dealing with a stressed-out mother, and, of course, the crazy Brazilian who changed my life.

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global perspective

REFLECTIONS ON MEDIA ISSUES BY BRUCE L. PAISNER

Technology: The Evil and the Excellent Sometimes, the past informs the present in interesting ways. In Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel’s magisterial novel about Thomas Cromwell and the court of King Henry VIII, Cromwell muses about the future, a few years after Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type and built the first printing press: “He [Cromwell] can see that, in the years ahead, treason will take new and various forms. When the last treason act was made, no one could circulate their words in a printed book or bill because printed books were not thought of. He feels a moment of jealousy toward the dead, to those who served kings in slower times than these; now the products of some sort of poisoned brain can be disseminated through Europe in a month.” For perhaps the first time since the 16th century, we live in that kind of world today—the Internet, the iPod, the Kindle, almost anything on display at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, will change our lives and our future. AS QUICKLY Enemies, from Al Qaeda to hackers, have become AS TECHNOLOGY masters of technologies that did not exist ten years ago, will multiply in unforeHAS PROGRESSED, and seeable ways over the next ten. Nowadays, the products SO HAVE of some poisoned brain can be disseminated throughout the entire world in seconds. THE SKILLS OF The linear path of information technology has expeother leaps in recent THE WORLDWIDE rienced centuries, but none anywhere near as transforming CREATIVE COMMUNITY. as when digital met broadband. The progression has brought us to an amazing place.The great global brain of the Internet instantly offers up information and perspectives that were once the domain of apex intellects, even in the most esoteric fields. It endows us with total recall. It entertains, enlightens and ennobles us. It gives us traffic reports. But when we opened wide the digital doors, we lost control of what piles through. Experience shows that it is impossible to deny entry to the worst. So the only reasonable response is to support and promote the best. For us in the media, these facts present challenges uniquely ours. Governments will do their best to immo18

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bilize and destroy our enemies, but this, albeit necessary, is negative action. Our challenge and our responsibility is, rather, positive action: How do we use new technology better to inform, educate and entertain the world? In the broadest sense, that has always been the charter of the International Academy.We recognize excellence. More recently, we have taken the very important step of expanding our charter to digital media. Five years ago, we created a new Emmy category and new awards ceremony expressly for digital media. At MIPTV this year in Cannes, our fifth Digital Emmy Awards will choose from among 12 nominees in three categories: Children and Young People, Fiction and Non-Fiction. I am very fortunate to have had a front-row seat at the evolution over those five years. I can report from that vantage point that as quickly as technology has progressed, so have the skills of the worldwide creative community. Every year, our entries have become more advanced, more ambitious, and more creatively and technologically imaginative. Looking back, the progress over five years has come faster than we could have imagined when we started the awards. I have no doubt that five years from now, we will look back and say exactly the same thing. But just as skills will improve and ambitions will expand, so will the competition for the attention of choice-rich media consumers. Some of the competition will be worthy and beneficial. Some will be base and detrimental. Some will test humanity. We have to accept the realities of the dark corners of equal-opportunity electronic content.Those who dwell there have the technology.They will sometimes win. But we can also embrace the opportunity to use that technology to drive digital media toward better things— in impact, innovation and possibility. The more or less orderly flow of information and entertainment since the invention of moveable type has breached its banks.We can’t control it.We can’t direct it. But we can recognize and promote the very best of it. That is a responsibility the International Academy gladly accepts. Bruce Paisner is the president and CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 4/10


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The Secrets Of Haven Are About To Be Revealed

Based On The Novel The Colorado Kid by Stephen

I NT E R N AT I O N A L

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For TV in continental Europe: Tele München International • sales@tmg.de 23 Rue Jean Macé, Cannes

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All other availabilities: E Entertainment • etv@eent.com Riviera Beach Hall RB.43

MYSTERY SERIES 13 X 60 MINUTES

King


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Bandeirantes Group www.band.com.br • • • • •

School Has Gone Mad

Preferia estar (Must Go) In the Heart of Brazil Parintins School Has Gone Mad Sex Angels

A burgeoning economic powerhouse and the site of two upcoming global sports events—the 2014 World Cup and the 2018 Summer Olympics—Brazil is taking on an increasingly prominent role on the global map. Bandeirantes is keen to take advantage of this trend, offering the international media community a diverse portfolio of Brazilian content.According to Elisa Maria Botelho Ayub, director of national and international content, the goal is to have programs that will transcend borders. On offer are productions such as Preferia estar (Must Go) and In the Heart of Brazil, which highlight key locations in the country; and Parintins, focusing on the country’s second-largest festival after Carnaval. There are also some scripted series being showcased, including the comedy Anjos de sexo (Sex Angels) and School Has Gone Mad.

“Our focus is to make our products transcend frontiers, to be able to fit into international programming slates and, in turn, build cultural alliances.

—Elisa Maria Botelho Ayub

Beyond Distribution www.beyond.com.au • Six Degrees of TV • I Could Do That! • MovieStar • Stop. Rewind • Wild Animal Baby Explorers

“These programs are not only very commercial, with lots of episodes apiece—they are also well-made by a talented group of production companies.

—Fiona Crago Multi-genre outfit Beyond Distribution is focusing on its factual slate at MIPTV. The shows being launched at the market include Six Degrees of TV, which makes connections between celebrities, and MovieStar, featuring profiles of prominent entertainment personalities.“People are perennially interested in the celebrity world,” says Fiona Crago, general manager. “These are great programs for buyers seeking quality, commerciality and volume.” Crago also highlights I Could Do That!, Stop. Rewind and Wild Animal Baby Explorers. “We are taking a lot of new programming to the market in an environment where less has been commissioned over the last 12 months or so, so we expect to have a very good MIPTV,” Crago notes. “As always, we want to do justice to the programs we are representing and to make sure that quality programming can find the widest possible audience it deserves.”

Six Degrees of TV

THE LEADING ONLINE DAILY NEWS SERVICE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA INDUSTRY. For a free subscription, visit: www.worldscreen.com


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Breakthrough Entertainment www.breakthroughfilms.com • Dino Dan • The Future Revealed • Ghost Cases

Breakthrough Entertainment has several new properties to launch at MIPTV, across the kids’ and factual genres. On the children’s front, Breakthrough is looking to close deals on the CGI and live-action show Dino Dan. Nat Abraham, the head of distribution, notes:“In Dino Dan we present a hugely entertaining and imaginary world and bring it to life with over 26 photorealistic dinosaurs. Kids everywhere will not only be entertained but will also learn more facts about the prehistoric species.” CGI is also used in the ten-part The Future Revealed, which features a companion show, Countdown to the Future. “Viewers will have a first-hand look at exactly how the technologies of today and those of the future will impact and transform our lives,”Abraham explains.“From a totally cashfree society and microchips,to the future of sex and relationships, these programs offer insights never before seen.” Ghost Cases, meanwhile, follows investigations of haunted locations. Rounding out the slate are new seasons of Greatest Tank Battles, Less Than Kind and Jimmy Two Shoes.

“ Our ongoing goal is to offer Breakthrough’s own new productions as well as carefully selected third-party properties to meet the needs of our various buyers and their viewers.

Dino Dan

— Nat Abraham

Caracol TV Internacional www.caracolinternacional.com • All I Need Is Love • Mariana & Scarlett • Pretty Ceci and Mr. Indiscreet • The Mafia Dolls • The Swindler

Mariana & Scarlett

Caracol International saw the worldwide interest in its telenovelas increase last year, according to sales executive Camila Reyes.According to Reyes,broadcasters are banking on the quality of the company’s productions and their ratings track record.The key, she says, is delivering telenovelas that have all the hallmarks of a classic romantic drama, merged with humor and contemporary subjects.“It could be said that our differential ingredient is the originality of our stories,” Reyes says.“We are always looking for innovative ideas that usually are inspired in our own daily experiences.” On offer at MIPTV will be three new telenovelas—All I Need Is Love, Mariana & Scarlett and Pretty Ceci and Mr. Indiscreet—and the series The Mafia Dolls and The Swindler. “Our main goal for MIPTV this year is to maintain the slots that we have conquered with our traditional clients and create new demand, continuing to deliver highquality products to our current and potential customers.”

“Our telenovelas go beyond the classic romantic drama without leaving that aside, giving them a sense of humor and a more typical lively touch that attracts audiences.

—Camila Reyes 24

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Cineflix International www.cineflixinternational.com Weird or What with William Shatner

• Weird or What with William Shatner • Nazi Hunters • Campus PD • The Delinquent Gourmet • The Cupcake Girls

Iconic actor William Shatner will investigate all that’s weird in the world in the new ten-part show Weird or What with William Shatner, which Cineflix International is launching at MIPTV.Shatner himself will be in Cannes to promote the new series. On the lifestyle end, meanwhile, Cineflix is bringing The Delinquent Gourmet, with bad-boy chef Gord Martin traveling the world, and The Cupcake Girls, focusing on two entrepreneurs working to build a cupcake empire. Also on the slate are Nazi Hunters and Campus PD.“It’s key to offer buyers something new…as well as something unexpected,” says Paul Heaney, president and managing director. “Without second-guessing the buying fraternity, I would say that by having specific ‘slot fillers’, flexible ‘schedule-friendly’ content, high volume, good quality as well as HD, we should appeal to most buyers,” Heaney says of the strength of Cineflix’s slate.“These days every show licensed has to serve a direct purpose.”

“I expect MIPTV 2010 to be our busiest market ever...with 250 new hours, it should be.

—Paul Heaney

Cinemavault www.cinemavault.com • • • • •

Clash Finding Lenny Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre My Dog Tulip Lymelife

Toronto-based Cinemavault has amassed an eclectic catalogue of independent feature films that it is bringing to the international market. Racquel Mesina, the VP of international sales and markets, notes the breadth of the catalogue for MIPTV, which spans action (Clash), family entertainment (Finding Lenny), arthouse drama (Lymelife), animation (My Dog Tulip) and horror (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre).“The availability of such a broad range of choices allows programmers and distributors to browse one catalogue and find a special title that perfectly highlights a featured event, or to assemble a large collection of titles, utilizing Cinemavault as an ongoing product supplier,” Mesina explains. “We are always looking to meet newcomers to the market who are seeking content for developing channels and distribution outlets.As always, our goal is to aid our clients in finding product for the upcoming year.”

Clash

“ We’ll be highlighting a wide selection of great titles, ranging from high-octane action films to artistic animation to family-friendly comedies.

—Racquel Mesina 26

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Lymelife


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Claxson Media www.claxsonmedia.com • Volcano Hunter • Brotherhood of the Snow • All That Show:The Trip • In the Deep

Claxson Media is offering the worldwide market a range of lifestyle shows produced for its networks in Latin America.The series available travel the globe, bringing to screens such diverse subjects as Hawaiian volcanoes in Volcano Hunter, snowboarding in Brotherhood of the Snow, musicals in All That Show: The Trip and deep-sea diving with In the Deep.“Claxson is strongest in achieving the highest quality of production while being able to produce around the world, and in any language without limitation, and at the same time maintaining competitive production costs,” says Ariel Taboada, the head of programming, production and operations. Taboada adds that in this climate,“Latin American production companies have [been] seizing the opportunity to find their place among the big production companies from Europe and the U.S.There has been more interest in giving companies such as Claxson a chance to prove that the level of production can be as high as requested by each client.”

“ Claxson offers a wide range of different programs at a competitive price, and at a quality level that attracts buyers around the world regardless of their origin or culture.

—Ariel Taboada

All That Show: The Trip

Comcast International Media Group www.comcastintl.com • Pretty Wild • Holly’s World • Jerseylicious • Tacky House • What I Hate About Me

With its roster of reality series from E!, Comcast International Media Group (CIMG) has demonstrated a strong ability to spin-off real-life characters into mega-franchises. Just as Keeping Up with the Kardashians gave way to Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami, the E! hit Girls of Playboy Mansion has spawned two further shows for the CIMG slate: Holly’s World and Kendra.“Audiences have fallen in love with Hef ’s girls over the years and, as the U.S. ratings have proven with Kendra, that loyalty has not subsided since they left the mansion,” says Jene Elzie, the VP of international sales and strategic planning.“We are expecting similar success from Holly’s World.” CIMG will look to continue this trend with Pretty Wild, following the exploits of three sisters who are part of the young Hollywood elite. CIMG also has high expectations for The Style Network’s Jerseylicious. On the opposite end of the female spectrum are two makeover series,Tacky House and What I Hate About Me.

Jerseylicious

“ This year’s slate pays particular attention to the extremely valuable 18-to-34 and 18-to-49 female demographics.

—Jene Elzie

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Dori Media Group www.dorimedia.com • • • • •

Ladronas Ciega a Citas (Date Blind) Split II uMan Pilots’Wives

One of Dori Media Group’s unique advantages, says president and CEO Nadav Palti, is that the company is producing titles specifically for the worldwide market—not one single territory.“This is the reason that all our productions are known for their ability to cross boundaries with universal story lines, trendy themes, updated editing, unique shooting techniques, neutral looking cast, etc.,” he says. One of the newest productions is Ladronas, the first action series out of Dori’s Argentinean arm Dori Media Contenidos. Ciega a Citas (Date Blind) is another priority for MIPTV, as is the second season of the teen vampire series Split.The new-media format uMan and the daily drama Pilots’Wives will also be available from Dori Media. Palti feels that the demand for telenovelas is on the rise, thanks to their ability to generate viewer loyalty in a short period of time. Buyers, he says,“will be anxious to buy universal products that are cost-effective.”

“ Dori Media Group’s varied catalogue enables [broadcasters to] find telenovelas and daily dramas which have the ability to generate high ratings [at] relatively low cost.

Date Blind

—Nadav Palti

Endemol Worldwide Distribution www.endemolworldwidedistribution.com • • • • •

My Kitchen Rules

Spirited Ladies of Letters Secret Diary of a Call Girl Football’s Next Star My Kitchen Rules

Endemol Worldwide Distribution has expanded its catalogue in time for MIPTV. Following Endemol Group’s acquisition of the production companies Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Tigress, Endemol Worldwide Distribution now represents properties such as the third season of Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which airs on ITV in the U.K. and Showtime in the U.S., and the 90-minute documentary Tsunami Caught on Camera, marking the fiveyear anniversary of the devastating 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia.The titles join the already substantial catalogue Endemol acquired when it took control of Southern Star. Other top properties being launched at MIPTV include two new drama series, Spirited and Ladies of Letters; the Sky 1 reality sports show Football’s Next Star; the lifestyle series My Kitchen Rules; and the documentary The Underwear Bomber: Detroit Bomb Plot.

Spirited

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Fireworks International www.contentfilm.com Fly Girls

• Shadow Island Mysteries • Heartland • Wildlife Rescue Africa • Fly Girls • Riese

Digital properties continue to be in demand across the globe, and Fireworks International has a range of these to offer.Titles include the sci-fi fantasy series Riese, which launches alongside an accompanying website and alternative reality and iPhone games; and Girl Number 9, a dark, fast-paced thriller. Fireworks is also offering up two new TV movies from the Shadow Island Mysteries franchise and a fourth season of the family drama Heartland.“Highlights from our nonfiction portfolio include the reality series Wildlife Rescue Africa, which offers a combination of dramatic wildlife rescues, compelling characters and breathtaking landscapes,” explains Saralo MacGregor, the executive VP of worldwide distribution.“We will also be speaking to buyers from Canada and the U.K. about the exciting new docu-series Fly Girls, which follows five beautiful Virgin America flight attendants as they jet from one glamorous location to the next.”

“It is vital to spend time working with the buying teams from each individual channel to closely assess any shifts in local demand, identify titles that will work for their schedules and audience and see how we can best meet their ongoing requirements.

—Saralo MacGregor

Fortissimo Films www.fortissimofilms.com • A Battle of Wits (Muk Gong) • The Warrior and the Wolf (Lang Zai Ji) • Dance, Subaru! • $9.99 • Unfinished Sky

On the heels of successful outings to the Sundance Film Festival and the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, Dutch-based Fortissimo Films is bringing its portfolio of new and library feature films to MIPTV. “We are looking at expanding our base of television and ancillary buyers and MIPTV offers us the perfect venue to expose our product line to a growing number of buyers,” says Nelleke Driessen, the managing director. There’s a broad mix, from Asian films like A Battle of Wits, The Warrior and the Wolf and Dance, Subaru! to the acclaimed stop-motion-animated feature $9.99, based on the short stories of Etgar Keret. Fortissimo is also presenting Unfinished Sky, based on the Golden Globenominated The Polish Bride. “These films represent features of the highest international standard, which we believe should also appeal to audiences around the globe,” says Driessen.

Unfinished Sky

“ The new slate and library we bring to MIPTV offers an eclectic range of international titles which have been recognized by festivals, by critics and by their performance in commercial theatrical release.

—Nelleke Driessen

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As usual at MIPTV‌ Bringing you Quality Bringing you

programming

Visit us at MIPTV Riviera Beach Hall RB # 39 TEL +33 (4) 92 99 88 49 Tandem Communications Head office: Sonnenstrasse 14 80331 Munich Germany www.tandemcom.de


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FremantleMedia Enterprises www.fidtv.com Kell on Earth

• Kell on Earth • The Delicious Miss Dahl • Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution • Panda Adventures with Nigel Marven • Kirstie Alley’s Big Life

Personalities rule in FremantleMedia Enterprises’ (FME) new launches for MIPTV. The Delicious Miss Dahl sees Sophie Dahl bringing a quirky, unique approach to cooking. Jamie Oliver is on a new mission in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.And wildlife specialist Nigel Marven is in China for Panda Adventures with Nigel Marven. “Buyers can always acquire content with confidence from FME,” says global CEO David Ellender.“Jamie and Nigel are tried-and-trusted brands who we know delight audiences on a global scale.They are both so passionate about what they do, it makes for genuinely compelling watching. Sophie’s program is co-produced by Fresh One, who make Jamie Oliver’s programs, with the same highquality approach to creating enticing food television.” Also available are Kell on Earth, airing on Bravo in the U.S., and Kirstie Alley’s Big Life, about the star’s life, family and attempt to start a new weight-loss company.

“ Our 2010 slate is bigger and better than ever, with exciting new titles and successful returning titles, and we can’t wait to showcase our portfolio to the buyers.

—David Ellender

Globosat www.globosat.globo.com X-Men Origins on Telecine HD

• Megapix • GNT • Telecine HD • Multishow HD • Telecine Pipoca HD

There’s been a steady rate of growth at Globosat of late. Last year saw the debut of Megapix,Telecine HD and Multishow HD, and this year has already had its own milestones.“For 2010, we have already launched Telecine Pipoca HD, we did a lengthy coverage of the Vancouver Games in HD, leading the prime-time slot for the month of February with SporTV 2,” notes Alberto Pecegueiro, the general director of Globosat.Two more channels are being prepped for launch as well, the female-skewing VIVA and extreme sports and adventure channel Zona de Impacto. Pecegueiro says that Globosat has been ambitious in increasing its distribution.“Since 2006 we have ended our exclusive distribution policies and, on top of the growth of the Brazilian market, Globosat has experienced an even faster growth rate by adding new distributors such as Telefonica and Embratel. Oi has just signed for Telecine and Megapix.”

“ We are preparing the launch of two new channels, VIVA for the women’s target and Zona de Impacto for extreme sports and adventure.

— Alberto Pecegueiro

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Incendo www.incendo.ca • Perfect Plan • Ties That Bind • Second Chances • Web of Lies • Ring of Deceit

Canadian outfit Incendo is looking to produce five to six television movies this year under the Incendo Thrillers banner.The company, led by Stephen Greenberg and Jean Bureau, has produced almost 40 TV movies in the last nine years, with the films rolling out around the world. Titles it will be introducing buyers to at MIPTV include Perfect Plan with Emily Rose, Ties That Bind starring Kristanna Loken, Second Chances with Melissa George, Web of Lies featuring Majandra Delfino and Ring of Deceit with Rebecca Mader. “The quality, style and strategic casting of the Incendo Thrillers continue to meet the needs and expectations of the international marketplace,” says Gavin Reardon, who heads up international sales and co-productions at the company. In addition to furthering its TV-movie business, Incendo is planning a high-concept TV series for the worldwide market.

“ Incendo continues to produce movies that appeal to broadcasters and audiences around the world.

—Gavin Reardon

Perfect Plan

Latin Media Corporation www.latinmediacorp.net • • • • •

Bola Cinta Feroz Count on Me Fena’s Blog Maruman

Count on Me

Football fever is set to strike Radio Televisyn Malaysia (RTM) this summer. Not only is RTM the official and exclusive free-to-air broadcast home of the FIFA World Cup in Malaysia, but the channel is also set to launch Bola Cinta, a passionate football love story, in June. Bola Cinta is the first co-production from Latin Media Corporation and its Malaysian partner,Worldwide Rights Corporation. Bola Cinta will be distributed by Latin Media Corporation in Europe,Latin America and North America,while Worldwide Rights Corporation will handle sales for Asia,Africa,the Middle East and Oceania. José Escalante, the president of Latin Media Corporation,has high expectations for the drama with MIPTV buyers, as he does with further titles such as the Chilean telenovelas Feroz and Count on Me.“Buyers are looking for telenovelas and series for teenagers,” he says. For the teen set, there’s Fena’s Blog, an interactive series that lets the audience decide how the story continues, and Maruman.

“We have partnered with Worldwide Rights Corporation to distribute Latin Media’s catalogue in Asia and Africa, and we are distributing their Asian programs in Latin America and Europe.

—José Escalante 36

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www.all3mediainternational.com

MIP TV Stand – LR 3.22

ALL3Media International: All For Independents

Going Postal A tale of deviousness, love, redemption and postage stamps… Our hero Moist starts life badly; his neck is saved by Lord Vetinari on the condition he takes charge of the Post Office, which flounders in the face of the competitive CLACKS telegraph system, run by the rather evil Reacher Guilt. Then Moist meets the beautiful Adora… Starring Richard Coyle, David Suchet, Claire Foy and Charles Dance. Completed

Undercover Boss, USA USA and UK versions available for completed programme sales – this hit format from the producer of Wife Swap sees a boss going on a voyage of discovery into their own company to get their hands dirty, see what’s working and not working and to unearth and reward hidden talent. Completed and Format

The Cube Seven simple physical and mental challenges, performed in this extraordinary environment, can win you up to £250,0000. The BODY, mysterious master of The Cube shows it can be done – but even the simplest task becomes fraught with difficulty and pressure. Do you have the strength, nerve and focus to beat The Cube? Slot-winning debut in the UK. Format

Cases of Doubt & Families at The Crossroads Two scripted reality dramas that have proven to be huge hits in Germany. Cases of Doubt follows women facing the possibility that a family member may be a criminal; Families at The Crossroads follows the plight of women in crisis. Life is stranger than fiction! Format

Hold Tight! Hold Tight! is the big thrills family game-show format that sees celebrities take on hilarious challenges on the biggest and best rides in a leading theme park. The format teams up members of the public with the stars to compete in a series of seemingly simple games, that all become much harder and much funnier when played on the park’s rides. Format and Completed

The Gadget Show The most entertaining, most fun and most authoritative show for gizmo and gadgets lovers! This is the only series you need for the lowdown on everything from iPods to vacuum cleaners, rockets to diving equipment, home-cinema to scooters – and all things in between. Our witty, knowledgeable presenters offer the perfect, fast-paced entertainment solution. Format and Completed

ALLNEWPROGRAMMES ALLNEWFORMATS ALLNEWCONCEPTS


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Lionsgate www.lionsgate.com Weeds

• Weeds • Mad Men • The Ricky Gervais Show • Blue Mountain State • Crash

The winner of four Golden Globes and nine Emmy Awards, Mad Men returns for a fourth season this summer. Lionsgate has another Emmy and Golden Globe winner in its catalogue, Weeds, which begins its sixth season on Showtime this summer. From the producers of the Academy Award-winning movie Crash, the original Starz series of the same name has now wrapped its second-season run. Peter Iacono, managing director of international television, expects these titles to perform well.“The appeal is a trifecta of programs that are exceptionally well-written and award-winning, possess high production value, and translate universally, achieving consistent and unparalleled critical acclaim the world-over.”Additionally, he says,“the breadth, depth and strength of programming lends itself naturally to anchoring any prime-time schedule or branded block of programming that will continue to keep everybody talking.” Lionsgate is also showcasing The Ricky Gervais Show and Blue Mountain State.

“The appeal is a trifecta of programs that are exceptionally well-written and award-winning, possess high production value and translate universally.

—Peter Iacono

MarVista Entertainment www.marvista.net • Meteor Storm • A Golden Christmas • Deadly Honeymoon • Kidnapped: 48 Hours of Terror • Prank Patrol: Australian Format

The TV-movie lineup that MarVista Entertainment is bringing to MIPTV is the company’s strongest to date, according to CEO Fernando Szew.A particular highlight is Meteor Storm, a disaster movie that “reached more than 2.4 million viewers when it premiered on Syfy in the U.S., and it is their most-watched movie thus far this year,” Szew says.MarVista is also debuting two thrillers. Kidnapped: 48 Hours of Terror stars Ian Ziering and Deadly Honeymoon has an ensemble cast, including Summer Glau. Broadening the slate, there is a romantic comedy, A Golden Christmas,“that has all the elements to become a perennial seasonal movie around the world,” Szew says. Outside of TV movies, MarVista has the Australian version of the kids’reality series Prank Patrol to offer, produced by Active TV for ABC 3. “Our goal is to deliver to our buyers a strong and diverse lineup of high-quality content that is programmable and with optimal chances to perform well,” Szew says.

“ We are proud that we have achieved a good reputation for the quality and consistency of the programming we provide and see opportunities to continue to expand.

—Fernando Szew 38

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Moving Pictures Film & Television www.movingpicturesfilmandtv.com The Coat

• The Coat • Dolan’s Cadillac • Wake • The Graves • Bikini Destinations

Moving Pictures Film & TV has made its foray into the area of new media with the original web series The Coat, a post-apocalyptic drama.“It’s been the rave of critics in France, where it is being produced by three young filmmakers who we discovered at MIPCOM last year,” says Paul Rich, the president of worldwide sales.The company also has a number of movies in its portfolio, such as Dolan’s Cadillac, Wake and The Graves. “Wake, which will be a major video release later this year by E1 Entertainment in U.S., and The Graves, released theatrically in the U.S. by Lionsgate/Horror Film Fest earlier this year, all significantly raise our company’s profile in the international film arena,” Rich says. Also generating buzz for Moving Pictures is a fourth season of fresh episodes of Bikini Destinations, which Rich says is “without question the most popular of its type in the world.”

“The Coat is the first venture by Moving Pictures into the bold new world of digital media.

—Paul Rich Wake

Opus Distribution www.opusdistribution.com • Next Stop Murder • Locked Away • My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend • Rock Slyde • When the World Breaks

“ The product is TV-oriented, with TV stars, and can play in multiple time periods depending on the broadcaster.

Opus Distribution, the new venture headed by Ken DuBow, formerly of PorchLight Entertainment, First Look Studios and Modern Entertainment, is bringing several TV movies to the market.They are Next Stop Murder starring Brigid Brannagh, Rosa Blasi and Brian Krause; Locked Away starring Jean Louisa Kelly; My Boyfriend’s Girlfriend with Alyssa Milano and Christopher Gorham; and Rock Slyde starring Patrick Warburton and Jason Alexander. It is also presenting When theWorld Breaks, a documentary on the U.S. Great Depression, with firsthand accounts of what it was like to live during that time. At MIPTV, DuBow says he is looking forward to “building upon relationships with my clients and to meeting new people who can become future clients and friends.This is the great benefit of both MIPTV and MIPCOM as it brings buyers and sellers together for commerce and I hope we all see good business at this market.”

—Ken DuBow

Next Stop Murder

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Passion Distribution www.passiondistribution.com • • • • •

Design Star

Design Star Private Chefs of Beverly Hills Outdoor Room If She Could Only Hear Me Sing Ru Paul’s Drag U

Ahead of MIPTV, Scripps Networks Interactive tapped Passion Distribution to represent programs from Food Network, HGTV and DIY Network in the international market, kicking off with 13 titles that will be launched in Cannes.Lead programs include the Mark Burnett-produced fifth season of Design Star for HGTV;Food Network’s Private Chefs of Beverly Hills and HGTV’s Outdoor Room.These join a number of independent productions represented by Passion Distribution, including the format If She Could Only Hear Me Sing and World of Wonder’s Ru Paul’s Drag U. “At a time when there are concerns that there isn’t enough new content at MIPTV because of the economy, Passion comes with over 500 hours of new content,” says Sally Miles, the managing director. “Buyers have become more discerning and content with a strong performance track record will go to the top of buyers’ agenda.”

“ Launching the Scripps International catalogue of new programs makes MIPTV a very exciting market.

—Sally Miles

Playboy TV International www.ptvioriginals.com • • • • •

Room Service

Jazmin’s Touch Room Service Summer in Love Shoot Out Sex Lives

Jazmin’s Touch, an original series from Playboy TV Latin America, tops the MIPTV slate at Playboy TV International (PTVI). “We are proud to bring to market the first of what we hope to be many co-productions with Claxson, our partners in Latin America,” says Marisa Tamburro, senior sales manager. PTVI is also showcasing from Latin America Room Service, Summer in Love and Short Stories. On the reality end of the slate is Shoot Out, which Tamburro calls our “sexy reality competition show.We’re judging ten photographers and ten models to see who is worthy of Playboy stardom!” Tamburro points to the variety of PTVI’s current and upcoming slates, with variety, drama and reality fare on offer.“Our future looks bright,”Tamburro says. “Later in the year we look forward to premiering season four of our wildly popular reality series Foursome.”

“ We have many promising projects in the pipeline, from radio, variety, docu-dramas, reality shows and much more that can be enjoyed by couples.

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Power www.powcorp.com • Ice • Puppet on a Chain • Air Force One Is Down

Power is looking to fill broadcasters’need for event programming with Ice, its latest disaster thriller, which stars Richard Roxburgh, Francis O’Connor, Stephen Moyer, Claire Forlani, Simon Callow and Ben Cross.“We’re particularly good at delivering strong internationally recognizable casts, which makes our shows highly promotable for the broadcasters,” says Randall Broman, president of worldwide sales. Broman also highlights adaptations of two Alistair MacLean novels: Puppet on a Chain and Air Force One Is Down.“Each show has to have a global compelling theme, with the right balance of action and strong characters, and this is why we put so much time and money into developing the best possible scripts,” Broman says. A priority at MIPTV will be seeking out “new and creative ways to generate additional revenue from our distribution business. Every year there are more and more platforms and channels to sell to,new innovative technology delivering content, and it is up to us distributors to figure out the various windows and optimize every potential revenue source.”

Ice

“ The goal for us is always to produce highend drama [that is] playable in prime-time all over the world.

—Randall Broman

RCN Television www.canalrcn.com/ventasinternacionales Doña Bella

• Rosario Tijeras • Don Pedro: Story of a Drug Lord • Victor’s Detectives • Doña Bella • Love, Lies and Video

A young woman who was raised in the slums captivates two wealthy men in RCN Television’s new series Rosario Tijeras. The Colombian distributor is also offering international broadcasters Don Pedro: Story of a Drug Lord and the younger-skewing Love, Lies and Video.There are also a number of telenovelas being launched at MIPTV, among them Victor’s Detectives, set in an agency that specializes in infidelity cases, and Doña Bella, about a woman who seeks revenge after being kidnapped. The shows, according to María Lucía Hernández, the director of international sales, “narrate drama and emotion in such an original way that audiences are always surprised. They have the traditional Canal RCN brand, with the best production values, cuttingedge technology, original score and a high percentage of on-location filming.”

“ Each of the series and novelas in our catalogue has garnered success in their genres.

—María Lucía Hernández

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re:think Entertainment www.rethinkentertainment.com • Shreducation • The Biscuit Brothers • The South African Story with Bishop Desmond Tutu • Cubers

There’s something for the whole family in re:think Entertainment’s MIPTV portfolio, says Paula Hutchinson, the director of sales and acquisitions.“It’s entertaining programming with high production values that kids and parents can enjoy watching together.” One example of this, Shreducation, is a live-action series that follows a group of young snowboarders who travel the world, training to turn pro. “International feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” says Hutchinson, “and this year in particular, snowboarding has been gaining popularity with kids everywhere.”Also aimed at family audiences, Cubers looks into the cutthroat world of the Rubik’s Cube and focuses on six international “Speed-Cubers.” Brand-new to MIPTV is The Biscuit Brothers, which follows the adventures of the Biscuit brothers and their friends as they explore musical concepts and apply them to everyday life. re:think also recently picked up the North American rights to The South African Story with Bishop Desmond Tutu.

The Biscuit Brothers

“ There’s still a demand for good quality factual programming—that hasn’t changed.

—Paula Hutchinson

Sony Pictures Television www.sonypictures.com • Justified • Drop Dead Diva • Hawthorne • The Dr. Oz Show • Sing Off

“Drop Dead Diva and Hawthorne have been first-year successes, renewed for second seasons in the U.S. and sold throughout the world, so we think they will be a big draw to other buyers at the market.

One of the most buzz-worthy new shows of midseason in the U.S. is the Sony Pictures Television (SPT) drama Justified, which premiered on FX in March. Drop Dead Diva, renewed for a second season on Lifetime, and Hawthorne, slated for its sophomore run on TNT, add to SPT’s drama slate.“We’re also selling The Dr. Oz Show, which is a phenomenon in the U.S., as both a format and a print and, in fact, we’ve already licensed it in 82 countries,” notes Keith Le Goy, the president of international distribution. Further format offerings, distributed by SPT’s 2waytraffic, include Sing Off and Stand Out from the Crowd. Kees Abrahams, the president of international production at SPT, notes:“We’ve got high expectations for Stand Out from the Crowd, which we believe will be a big draw in building viewer numbers as it provides allround family entertainment with a feel-good factor that is truly in demand these days.”

—Keith Le Goy Drop Dead Diva

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Sphinx Productions www.sphinxproductions.com • • • • •

Pure Pwnage In the Wake of the Flood Know Your Mushrooms Examined Life Lunarcy

“ I love MIPTV. It’s like speed dating with international broadcasters: some dates blossom into long-term romances; some are one-night stands; and some are like, no chance in hell!

The Pure Pwnage web series has become an Internet phenomenon, with a core audience of 2 million fans worldwide and more than 9 million unique visitors since launch. It tells the story of 26-year-old Jeremy, otherwise known as “teh_pwnerer,” the greatest video gamer in the world, whose life is documented by his brother Kyle, an aspiring film director.The new 8x30-minute TV property is represented by Sphinx Productions. The Toronto-based outfit has also slated the hourlong In the Wake of the Flood to headline its MIPTV portfolio, along with the documentaries Know Your Mushrooms and Examined Life. Ron Mann, the president and executive producer, also points out a slate of titles in development. This includes Lunarcy, an out-of-this-world examination of how we look at the moon, “for which we are seeking financial participation,” he notes.

—Ron Mann

Pure Pwnage

Televisa Internacional www.televisainternacional.tv • A New Beginning (Zacatillo, Un lugar en tu corazón) • A Woman of Steel (Soy tu dueña) • Wild Heart (Corazón salvaje) • Curse by the Sea (Mar de amor) • A Double Identity (Niña de mi corazón)

Wild Heart

New and familiar names and faces feature in the telenovelas that Televisa Internacional is launching at MIPTV. AWoman of Steel (Soy tu dueña), for example, is a remake of a Televisa classic that stars actresses Lucero and Gabriella Spanic,as well as Fernando Colunga, who is known across Europe. Another Televisa show being revamped for modern viewers is A Double Identity (Niña de mi corazón). Wild Heart (Corazón salvaje) follows two individuals who are deeply in love, despite their differences in social class. From Delia Fiallo comes Curse by the Sea (Mar de amor). Rounding out the list of new series is A New Beginning (Zacatillo, Un lugar en tu corazón).Claudia Sahab,the director for Europe,expects the company to expand its business in the region this year. “We have a very high-quality product and a very secure one—you know that if a telenovela works, you can forget about that slot for four months or five months,that’s great for the programming department.”

“ We increased our sales in Europe last year by 25 percent—it was huge growth for a crisis year and we’re really proud of it.

—Claudia Sahab 48

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TV Azteca www.comarex.tv • • • • •

Infamia (Torn Apart) La loba (Fierce Angel) La fuerza del destino (The Force of Destiny) Pobre Diabla (Daniela) Pasion Morena (Morena)

The exclusive distributor of programming from Mexican broadcaster TV Azteca, Comarex is coming to Cannes with a batch of hit telenovelas. New offerings include Infamia (Torn Apart) and La loba (Fierce Angel), which had sold to 14 markets before it even premiered in Mexico, according to Comarex’s CEO,MarcelVinay,Jr.In addition,Vinay expects strong interest in La fuerza del destino (The Force of Destiny). “Programmers are always looking for success stories such as La fuerza del destino, which has done so well—for example,inVenezuela this show improved ratings by over 55 percent during its time slot,”Vinay says. Other top titles include Pobre Daniela (Daniela), a love story that blends passion, hatred and evil, and Pasion Morena (Morena), a story of love, tragedy, families and jealousy. “After a very successful market at NATPE we are looking forward to presenting our new telenovelas at MIPTV,” Vinay says.

“ We are confident that we will impress programmers with the quality of these shows and their story lines.

The Force of Destiny

—Marcel Vinay, Jr.

Venevision International www.venevisioninternational.com • Sacrificio de mujer (A Woman’s Sacrifice) • Salvador de mujeres (Salvador: A Knockout Lover) • Tomasa tequiero (Millionaire Maid) • Pecadora (Sinner) • Un esposo para Estela (A Husband for Estela)

“ The telenovela genre maintains its international appeal for broadcasters and audiences around the globe.

—Cesar Díaz

Venevision International is bringing to MIPTV a slate of novelas from a number of different markets. Sacrif icio de mujer (A Woman’s Sacrifice) is from Florida-based Venevision Productions, which is also behind Pecadora (Sinner). From Colombia there is Salvador de mujeres (Salvador: A Knockout Lover), while Tomasa tequiero (Millionaire Maid ) and Los misterios del amor (Mysteries of Love) originated in Venezuela.Another key title on the slate is Un esposo para Estela (A Husband for Estela). According to Cesar Díaz, the VP of sales, the aim is to “offer a more complete and versatile package of titles and story lines to fit any broadcaster’s needs in today’s market.” Díaz continues: “Our objectives for MIPTV are straightforward, as we look to reinforce our presence in the European and Asian regions, while continuing to expand the reach of our formats and the opportunities of co-productions in international markets.”

Salvador: A Knockout Lover

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Warner Bros. International Television www.wbitv.com • The Vampire Diaries •V • Human Target • The Middle • the forgotten Human Target

The CW announced some early pickups this February for its fall 2010 season, including that of The Vampire Diaries. In its first season, The Vampire Diaries, which is featured prominently on Warner Bros. International Television’s MIPTV slate, has been The CW network’s mostwatched show with 4.6 million viewers. The ABC V reboot, starring Lost’s Elizabeth Mitchell, will also be showcased for buyers, as well as the FOX action/adventure show Human Target, with Mark Valley (Fringe) as a mysterious security agent. For broadcasters on the lookout for crime drama, there is Jerry Bruckheimer’s the forgotten with Christian Slater, and in comedy there’s the Patricia Heaton sitcom The Middle. In addition to broadcast-network series,Warner Bros. is highlighting its cable slate, such as Pretty Little Liars for ABC Family,TNT’s Rizzoli & Isles and Memphis Beat and Cartoon Network’s live-action foray Unnatural History.

V

World Wrestling Entertainment www.wwe.com SmackDown

• Raw • SmackDown • WWE NXT • WWE Superstars • WWE Studios slate

It was announced in January that WWE Studios would be self-distributing and handling the marketing of its upcoming slate of theatrical films, beginning this summer with Legendary, starring Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and WWE Superstar John Cena.The WWE Studios’slate will be a main highlight for the market.“This year we are introducing our new WWE Studios slate with a launch event on April 13, which will be a real focus of the market for us,”notes Andrew Whitaker, the executive VP of WWE International. Outside of films,WWE has its signature sports and entertainment series.These include Raw, SmackDown and WWE Superstars. WWE NXT is a live-event and reality-show hybrid, featuring eight well-known WWE Superstars mentoring eight WWE Rookies.“WWE currently has the most comprehensive program offering that we’ve enjoyed in our 25-year history,” says Whitaker,“and, as a result, we are confident that we will have our most successful MIPTV to date.”

“ All of WWE’s programming content is rated PG and its ability to transcend cultural and language barriers makes it a valuable property for any potential buyer.

—Andrew Whitaker

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CHRONICLING THE CREATION OF TODAY’S BIGGEST SHOWS BY ANNA CARUGATI

The Doctor’s in the House

Hugh Laurie For TV viewers around the world, the word “house” no longer refers to the English term for a place to live. It immediately triggers images of the often rude, gruff and inappropriate but brilliant physician in House, who solves the most difficult medical mysteries, despite his unconventional approach and horrid bedside manner. Dr. Gregory House is brought to life by the British actor Hugh Laurie, whose early career in the U.K. saw him partner with former Cambridge classmate Stephen Fry in comedies such as A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Blackadder. House, now in its sixth season, has been sold to some 250 territories by NBC Universal International Television Distribution, and is one of the top-selling U.S. series in the world. In this exclusive interview, Laurie talks to World Screen about his love for the craft of acting and the making of House.

WS: What appealed to you about the character of Gregory House? LAURIE: I thought he was a fascinating and at the time, as far as I could tell, a unique combination of wit and dissidence and unease and a whole list of qualities that I hadn’t seen combined in a single character, particularly not at the center of a drama. One could argue that there have been characters a little bit like House here and there, but they were usually peripheral characters.The hero was always a solid upright citizen, usually with blond hair and a dog, and they would do the right thing. WS: A good guy. LAURIE: A good guy, and you could tell who the good

guys were. And this is a rather troubled and conflicted, damaged character who presented this problem for the audience, I suppose, which is that here is a man that has a gift with which he can heal. He can help mankind and yet the gift comes at a cost—it comes at a cost to him and it comes at a cost to any of the people around him. He’s always asking the question,“Am I worth the cost?” and it’s a constantly interesting question, and I grew to like him immediately. I felt within a couple of pages I really liked this guy. It doesn’t mean I think he’s a good guy or a nice guy, but I like him. 56

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WS: I lived in Italy for 20 years and in Europe there is

a little less sentimentality in the arts than there is in the U.S. Americans in general like happy endings, you know what I mean? LAURIE: Oh absolutely, I do, yes. WS: I wouldn’t say there is anything sentimental

about House. LAURIE: Not much. WS: Why do you think it plays so well to a U.S. audience? LAURIE: I wonder if the difference you are describing

has actually changed in the last decade or so. I feel, though I can’t speak for the whole of Europe, as if the British maybe have become more sentimental than they were, and possibly the Americans have become less sentimental. I feel as if we are meeting in some strange middle ground somewhere. I think American audiences seem much more open now to different kinds of stories told with different kinds of flavors and tones and with different sorts of outcomes. Of course, there is always a sort of a Disney America,“When You Wish Upon a Star,” which is a nonsensical premise that your dreams come true.They don’t just because you wish upon a star. I think Americans are much more open than they used to be to different kinds of ideas and stories. Actually, I think the British have become much more demonstrative, much more sentimental than they used to be.This sort of stiff upper lip is a much less prominent characteristic. WS: The reaction to the death of Princess Diana was

one illustration of that. LAURIE: I didn’t want to bring that up, but that was an

amazing display that I think would have been unthinkable 30 years before. If you had described that to British people 30 years before they would have said that could have never happened. But there we go, it was obviously always deep within us, we were just sort of rather suppressed. WS: What stretch as an actor does the role of Gregory House present to you? LAURIE: Most of the stretching I find is of a mechanical kind—it’s the volume of work you’re having to do and the number of decisions you are having to make in a day to actually keep something real and true and funny—to keep it alive.This is not something a stage actor does, you can’t just go and do this thing for two hours and be done. This is something you are having to think about and very actively think about, for 14, 15 hours a day for nine, ten months of the year.And it’s those mechanical things, the volume of it—dealing with the actors and dealing with the physical disability and all those sorts of things are actually harder than the emotional side, which I always felt, I can’t say that I found it easy, but I felt that I understood it. I knew what it should be, even if there were times— plenty of times—when I felt I hadn’t been able to do it

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right, I knew what it should be. From the moment I first read the script I had a very clear sound in my head of how it should feel. WS: And he came to life to you right away. LAURIE: Yeah, he did, actually. I had only read a cou-

ple of scenes to begin with.They sent me the first script and I only read a couple of scenes, but I felt straight away, I know who this guy is and I know how this should sound.Well, I know who the character is, but I also know who David Shore [the creator and one of the executive producers of House] is. I felt like I know what he is trying for here. WS: As a viewer, the most refreshing thing about the

show is that it makes you think, and there is so little on TV now that makes you think! LAURIE: That’s right, that’s right! Well, I’m glad that you think that because I agree, I’m very proud of it. I’m very proud of it for lots of reasons, and while we don’t always succeed, I still think we have the energy and the will, and David certainly has the skill to continue to put difficult questions that make people wonder what is the right thing to do and what is the right way to behave. WS: Who is the moral compass?

Does David decide what the right thing to do is in a given episode? LAURIE: It has to be that way. Of course it is a very collaborative medium, and he has a team of nine or ten writers who are all working on different stories. The only way it can work is that it has to be sort of one person’s voice. He and I, we discuss things at great length sometimes, and I will tell him what I think about a particular script or suggest what about this or what about that, but it has to be his decision— it is his creation.The character is his character.The character, to be honest, is him—David is much closer to House than I am, I think.

Happy to be here: In its sixth season on FOX, House is still among the top-rated shows in the U.S.

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involves waste. So people will make pilots [and say], “I could have sworn that would be a huge success, and who knows why it didn’t work.” But in a funny sort of way I like that. I know I am not paying the bill, but I like the fact that we can’t know that mind of the audience, nor should we. It is a wonderful thing that we try to please, we try to guess at, but ultimately you can’t. WS: It’s alchemy to a large extent, isn’t it? LAURIE: It’s alchemy, exactly.And the only meaningful

strategy you can have is to please yourself and do something that you like, and David has written a show that he likes and he would want to watch. And all of us who work on House, I think, are trying to do something that we would like, and hope, just hope that other people would like it, too.As soon as you get into the process of trying to guess, you are sunk—it’s all over. WS: Now, where do you find time to write your novels?

And when will the second one come out? LAURIE: Well, the second one, as you can imagine, is Making history: Laurie’s best-known credits include the classic BBC historical comedy Blackadder, in which he played a number of roles, including an 18th-century Prince of Wales.

amounts spent on the pilot process, what do you like about the U.S. system? Not to badmouth the Brits in any way! LAURIE: Lord no, I plan to live there! WS: And Britain has produced spectacular shows. LAURIE: I suppose one of the things I like about the

American system is that at the end of it all, whatever one may think about an average day, there is some great television drama being made.This is a good time for television drama, for all the difficulties and for all the uncertainties and economic problems, it is nonetheless a great time, which I think is largely to do with writers. It is completely a writers’ medium. Certainly in feature films, or in British television, the writer does not have the position that an American writer has on an American drama.They are not producers, for one thing. David is the executive producer, and he and Katie [Jacobs, one of the executive producers] run the show.That doesn’t happen in Britain and it doesn’t happen in feature films here. I like that; that has a lot to do with it. The pilot system, I don’t know, it is a little odd and there is wastage, I suppose. But in a way I’m sort of reassured by the fact that people cannot predict an audience. I think we would have reached a depressing stage of human development if one clever person sitting in an office somewhere could actually predict,“If you put this actor with this writer and you tell this kind of story with these elements, the audience will love it.” If that day comes, I think that will say something rather depressing. So the very fact that audiences are unpredictable, fickle and fasten on to things that no one could have imagined that they would fasten on to, or they ignore things that everyone thought they would love, that 60

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rather delayed! Delayed by some years now, I’m afraid. But because of the success of House, the one book I did write, The Gun Seller, has now been translated into some 20-odd languages, so [the publishers] must be pleased about that, and that will keep them at bay for a while! WS: Do you think about a life after House? Do you think about teaming up with Stephen Fry again? LAURIE: I don’t really think about a life much after lunch. [Laughs] That’s about as far as I work! A couple of hours is my thing! I’m like a goldfish; I don’t have many plans. I would love to work with Stephen again. He is in L.A. at the moment writing.We see each other and we talk about it. He’s also not very good at planning. Neither of us are good planners; we have no master scheme. WS: So two goldfish. LAURIE: Two goldfish, exactly! [Laughs] And every

now and then we meet, and say, wait a minute, you’re also a goldfish. WS: Will we see you play the piano again on House? LAURIE: Oh, I hope so. WS: You enjoy that, don’t you? LAURIE: I do, I do. I don’t practice enough, I don’t have

time to do that, either, but yeah, I do love it. I also think it’s an interesting element in the psychological makeup of this character, that for someone so apparently fiercely rational there is a romantic side to him.There is music in him and not just music of the mathematical, mechanical Bach kind. He has a romantic side and there is something beside that cold calculating machine inside his head, which I do like as an element. ■

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MAKING HEADLINES IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY BY MANSHA DASWANI

Taking a Shine to Social Networking

Elisabeth Murdoch

Dialogue of ideas: Murdoch being interviewed by Anna Carugati at NATPE.

Elisabeth Murdoch, Shine Group’s chairman and CEO, had a strong message for content creators at NATPE earlier this year about the perils of ignoring social media and interactive storytelling.“Social networks are a tool with which we can tell our stories, and like moving pictures were to radio, you can decide not to embrace social media, but I predict that before the end of this decade, to do so would be akin to resisting Technicolor.” It is imperative,she said,that the business face head-on the dramatic technological and media-consumption shifts of the last few years.The “old mass-media, controlled-distribution model is being challenged like never before....Amid our anxiety, everybody is looking for a new business model that can provide sustained revenues in what I’m going to call a post-digital media world….What is most important for us to realize, though, is that no matter where we are, when the rain clouds clear,we are just not going to find ourselves back in Kansas—there is no way home from Oz.” The challenge for the media business is to “catch up with what our audience is doing,” Murdoch continued. “We can no longer afford to be a one-dimensional, onescreen business.... Social networks are the foundation upon which we can build new entertainment business models…. Quite frankly, free is so 2009. Compared to broadcast TV or services like YouTube, cable and social networks are the more likely indicators of the future. Where consumers have a direct relationship with media, they prove time and again that they are willing to pay for it.”

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At Shine, Murdoch continued,“[we] think of ourselves as a creative company first and foremost. Our approach is to place creativity at the core of the business.We think of ourselves as creative storytellers—and good storytellers immerse the audience with all the skills and tools they have at their disposal.That’s easy to say, perhaps, but we do continuously work at it and engineer our entire company to be multitasking, multifunctional, not hierarchical, neither digital nor linear. Like the best content we cannot be packaged up into neatly segmented constructs. Right now we are at a very exciting moment, the fusion of broadcasting and social mediums. It is a merger where the viewer becomes our co-creator.” She went on to say: “This, if you like, is my call to action; not so much a manifesto but an attitude for the next ten years: If we embrace social mediums, we reinvent our companies, we rethink our attitudes, and we rethink our creativity, we are at the start of something exciting, a model that can lead to a new kind of commerce which avoids the free nonsense, and provides value to our creative industry.This is not even about saving television— it’s about enriching our industry.” Immediately after the keynote speech, Murdoch, in a conversation with Anna Carugati, the group editorial director of World Screen, went on to talk about the expansion of the Shine Group. “We have grown a lot in the last 18 months,” Murdoch told Carugati. “We’re now at about 25 production labels in ten countries. What we’ve done is not expand for the sake of expansion.That is a recipe for disaster in the creative business. I really look for people who share the same DNA as us.We tend to be creative entrepreneurs.We are people who have very deep and broad connections with our buyers in whichever market we’re in, who have a reputation for creative excellence and execution. And that’s the strategy—to find world-class, blue-chip people like that. It takes time. You have to respect and understand each market.” Carugati also spoke with Murdoch about how creativity is managed and nurtured across the Shine Group. “Managing any successful business which creates a legacy, which can refresh and reinvigorate itself via content creation, hopefully is really about what your cultural environment is and how you look after the people who are the lifeblood of your company,” Murdoch said. “If we could pay our way toward making hit shows, that would be very easy and we’d all be very successful quickly! The point for us is that I see my job not so much as nurturing but empowering and enabling people to do their very best work and working with people who believe that together we can surpass our own ambitions because we work together. I think bureaucracy destroys creativity. I think hierarchical behavior destroys creativity, we really put the idea and the creative people first and give them the tools and the rigor and the guidance to allow that talent to come to the surface.”

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EXPLORING THE CREATIVE MINDS BEHIND THE WORLD OF TELEVISION PRODUCTION BY MANSHA DASWANI

Managing a Hit Franchise

NCIS’s Shane Brennan

WS: What are some of the major differences between

the two shows, and what are the commonalities? BRENNAN: This is quite rare in any sort of franchise on

Seven seasons in, NCIS has quietly become American television’s top-rated drama. In September, CBS launched the spin-off NCIS: Los Angeles, which is the highest-rated of all the new network series launched in the fall. At the helm of the two shows is Australian native Shane Brennan, who created NCIS: Los Angeles after working as a writer on the original series for a number of years. He talks to World Screen about managing television’s most successful new franchise.

television—the main commonality is they all work for the same boss.They have the same general way of doing things procedurally, so the audience doesn’t have to relearn certain things. That commonality has been extremely good for us because it enables us to do things that other franchise shows can’t do. We work hard at the differences. It’s about making the experience for the NCIS audience different enough; for them to feel that they can come and watch NCIS: Los Angeles and not feel like they’re watching a regurgitation of the other show.The very fact that the show is set in Los Angeles is one of the biggest [differences]. Los Angeles is itself very much a star.We film out on location as often as we can, we use those iconic backdrops that the rest of the world is very familiar with.The narrative drive of the show is a little stronger on NCIS: Los Angeles.We endeavor to tell stories at a quicker pace, we can use much more technology because of the undercover surveillance aspects of that particular unit—they get to play with more toys.

WS: Why do you think

WS: What are the biggest differences between work-

NCIS has resonated with audiences in the U.S. and around the world? BRENNAN: It goes back to the way the show was first conceived and cast. You need to have strong interesting characters, and then you need to find the actors who can breathe life into those characters, and it was a perfect storm for NCIS.You realize that you’ve got a hit when no one else can play those roles, when the actors totally own them, and that’s what happened with NCIS. It built very steadily, and the last two seasons it’s really taken off. People respond to good characters, and that’s really the key to the success of NCIS.

ing in Hollywood and working in the TV business in Australia? BRENNAN: I came over in 2003—having worked in Australia since 1981 as a television writer—and I was incredibly bored because I was writing two episodes of television a year. In Australia I had written anywhere between 15 and 20 hours of television a year. It’s a freelance system in Australia, and you write on a lot of different shows.What I brought [to the U.S.] was a lot of television credits. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing for an Australian audience, an English audience, an American audience, we all have the same emotional response to certain stories and characters.The big difference is how you execute that on the screen. Because of the very tight budgets in Australia, we had to handle things differently. We couldn’t have a lot of the exterior locations, we were tied to the studio a lot. Here, we go out and do the location work, see the action, see the audience become really involved in the fights and the car chases and all of that stuff.

WS: What led to the creation of NCIS: Los Angeles? BRENNAN: Given the success of NCIS, CBS were

very keen to see if there was an appetite for a spinoff.While I was researching episodes and running the show, I discovered that there was an undercover unit of NCIS out of Washington and I felt that was different enough to NCIS for us to bring in a new set of characters and make a show that didn’t step on the toes of the mother ship. 64

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WS: Does your Australian experience bring a different sensibility to the shows? BRENNAN: There is one thing which I hope comes through. I grew up watching both the very best of British television and the very best American television (sometimes the worst of American television!), so I have a more international perspective than writers who grew up in this country. International audiences sometimes see reflected in some of the story lines a view that is a little more international, not quite as colloquial. ■

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HIGHLIGHTING GAINS BY LEADING INDUSTRY PLAYERS BY ANNA CARUGATI

Broadening the Business

Endemol’s Tom Toumazis and Cathy Payne For years, Endemol has been known primarily for its expertise in the format business. But after acquiring Southern Star International at the beginning of 2009, and a number of other specialist producers more recently, Endemol is becoming a major player in scripted programming as well. Tom Toumazis, the chief commercial officer at Endemol, and Cathy Payne, the CEO of Endemol Worldwide Distribution, talk about the breadth of their company’s finished product.

WS: What has been the strategy for broadening Endemol’s distribution business? TOUMAZIS: When [Endemol CEO] Ynon Kreiz joined, in May 2008, one of the early areas he felt we could build on was that of program distribution. For a company of our scale and local footprint, Ynon felt that we are better placed than many of our competitors to develop this exciting and growing part of our business. A key step in this direction was the acquisition of Southern Star International, and that gave us 14,000 hours of English-language finished programming and the number-one producer of scripted-entertainment programming in Australia. We brought together Endemol’s and Southern Star’s distribution businesses under a new company called Endemol Worldwide Distribution, and it has been going from strength to strength ever since.We have a strong slate of Endemol shows coming through, and we are looking to acquire third-party product as well. WS: The recent acquisitions of Tiger Aspect and

Darlow Smithson fit into that strategy, right? TOUMAZIS: Absolutely. Everything that Dar-

low Smithson,Tiger Aspect and Tigress do is high quality.To be in the U.K. scripted and factual-entertainment business at this level gives us another distribution opportunity. Darlow Smithson is making an anniversary piece on Concorde and they’ve got a factual documentary about the Air France flight 447 air crash.They also have a program on the averted Christmas Day bombing of the flight to Detroit.These are just a few examples. We also announced a joint venture in Russia called WeiT Media, which will focus on drama production and is led by Timur Weinstein, one of Russia’s most successful producers.This follows the launch of Wiedemann & 68

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Berg Television, our joint venture with Quirin Berg and Max Wiedemann, the producers behind the Academy Award-winning film The Lives of Others. WS: What brought about your large slate for MIPTV? PAYNE: This is a result of the integration of the Southern

Star and Endemol distribution operations and the product that is flowing through from new companies that have joined the Endemol Group, such as British producers Tiger Aspect, Darlow Smithson and Tigress. In the U.S., for example, people will recognize Endemol USA as the producer of network shows such as Wipeout or Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but they will not necessarily know that within the Endemol USA group of companies are 51 Minds Entertainment,True Entertainment and Original Media, all of which are providing product through to distribution.When you combine that with the third-party business that traditionally Southern Star had fostered, it is a large, healthy slate. Now that we are big we have to focus on where our strengths lie.We are a large distributor, so our focus will be broad-audience genres. However, as a producer working in so many countries, we will also need to cater effectively for our non-English-language catalogue and product that falls into niche genres.We are slowly getting more of a discipline around that, but it is true to say right now there is product coming from everywhere all the time! WS: What are you hearing from buyers? Are they more willing to spend? PAYNE: It’s definitely improved, and you can look around and see that ad revenues are improving in a lot of territories, some faster than others.There are a lot of markets, like Australia, that never actually went into technical recession.What happened is when people start to lose confidence it does have this build-on effect, but now revenues are back and people are much more confident. We still have problems in markets like the U.K. on freeto-air television, but the U.K. also has one of the richest secondary markets in the world, and it helps offset that. America has remained strong in the cable area. In 2009 we saw a number of digital platforms and new channels that were delayed because of the economic crisis, but now operators are definitely moving ahead and pushing those forward. So there have been quite a few channels launching in a number of markets, and when channels start they always have a big need for product, in particular in their early start-up cycle. 4/10


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A LOOK AT THE BUSINESS OF TELEVISION BY MANSHA DASWANI

Developing Innovative Partnerships

WS: How are you approaching your business

with U.S. broadcast networks, especially given that you won’t be guaranteed a full series run? JENNINGS: One of the great things about these broadcast partnerships now is that we don’t necessarily need the U.S. to finance the shows. One of the reasons that every other week there’s another European broadcaster in town is because they are finding that they buy a U.S. show and sometimes it doesn’t get a full run in the U.S. and they’ve paid an awful lot of money, whereas in Canada, you’re going to be guaranteed that all 13 hours will run.The Europeans need to know those shows are going to continue and not be pulled.We’re still talking a lot with the U.S. and I would say they’re more open than they were a year ago.

Shaftesbury’s Christina Jennings Canada’s Shaftesbury Films has long been known for its liveaction youth programming. Over the last several years, however, it has made a name for itself in prime-time TV movies and, increasingly, hour-long dramas. For Christina Jennings, the founder, chairman and CEO of the company, developing innovative co-production partnerships—such as the one it struck to finance and roll out The Listener, which has been renewed for a second season by CTV—are essential in the current economy.

WS: What’s driving your

prime-time drama business? JENNINGS: It’s all about partnerships. Every other week there is a European broadcaster or distributor in Toronto wanting to talk partnerships. Murdoch Mysteries is an example of a success—we’re going into the fourth season with UKTV’s Alibi, Citytv and ITV Studios Global Entertainment.We’re starting to see, with The Listener and some other shows, that the international pay stations like Universal Networks International and Fox International Channels are stepping up in a really significant way. WS: How do you manage everyone’s needs in order to

get the best show possible? JENNINGS: The key is that everyone is making the same

show out of the gate. So if one looks at The Listener, Fox and CTV were making the same show, so we weren’t stretched as a creative team.And you’ve got to be a real grownup about that.We all want our shows to get financed and the worst thing that could happen is to sell two different [versions of the] show, because no one will be happy and the show won’t work and they won’t want to buy your next show! You then have to be prepared to listen. In the Murdoch example, we knew that the U.K. audience needed something extra, something special to that market. So we shot some of the first episode of the third season in Bristol. France has now come on board with Murdoch in prime time, and we’re looking to bring a very recognized French actor over to the show. 70

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WS: You’ve also developed partnerships with distributors that sell your one-hour dramas. JENNINGS: The one-hour drama series business is a risky business. Unlike the kids’ business, you need to have a lot of money and you do need offices around the world.Those relationships are complex, they are incredibly varied and numerous,so we decided years ago that we would just be in the kids’ distribution business and that we would leave it to others to take on the one-hour drama series. It’s been terrific for us because we have very good relations with all of them.We will remain a producer of one-hour dramas and producer and distributor of kids’ [programming]. WS: What are the latest developments in your kids’business? JENNINGS: We have Baxter, our brand-new half-hour

kids/family series set at a performing arts school. I think we have completely hit the right timing in terms of the zeitgeist, where kids are singing and dancing and performing.These shows make you feel good. WS: What are the challenges facing kids’distributors today? JENNINGS: We went out of the gate with Life with Derek,

so you start to build a customer base that is looking for the next one like that.Those customers are looking to Shaftesbury for quality of production, for shows that are comedies but that are “real.”We’re not limited to making shows about stars and limousines—we’re making shows about real kids. We’re not trying to be all things to all people. For us, it is about the knowledge of what we’re good at and staying true to that. WS: What are your plans for new-media content? JENNINGS: It remains a key focus of the business.We spent

a year and a little bit more doing R&D, literally coming up with projects that would start online and be able to move to TV and mobile. Some of the broadcast partnerships we have on the drama side are now making offers on the original online content.As an extension of our core production business,transmedia and multiple platform is critical to audience penetration.

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spotlight

A LOOK AT INNOVATION IN THE TELEVISION INDUSTRY BY MANSHA DASWANI

Pioneering a New Model

E1’s John Morayniss A little more than a year since E1 Entertainment was formed following a series of acquisitions, the company has established itself as a major player in the music, film and television spaces. As CEO of E1 Television, John Morayniss is leading the expansion of the company’s series and TV-movie business, which includes the CTV and CBS drama The Bridge, the Stephen King adaptation Haven, ABC and Global’s Copper and the Jason Priestley dark comedy Call Me Fitz. Morayniss tells World Screen about the company’s new models for producing high-quality drama today.

WS: How do you expect E1 to perform this year? MORAYNISS: E1 is the result of bringing together a

number of companies over the last couple of years. Overall, when you bring those companies together, not only do you create synergies, but it allows you to modify the ebbs and flows of an unpredictable business. The main pieces of the puzzle of E1 are now in place. We have the television side, the feature side and the music side. Now our main goal is to grow organically, utilizing all the expertise, the strong capital base we now have as a public company, and build. Over a long period of time it’s distracting to always acquire, because then you’ve got to integrate, you’ve got to figure out how all the pieces move together, you’re utilizing a lot of capital for acquisitions. So now we’re really focusing on a lot of internal growth, as well as other strategic acquisitions.You’re going to see the possibility of some other theatrical distribution or homevideo companies being acquired by E1.You’re going to be seeing, as opposed to acquisitions of companies, strategic relationships with production companies, more overall deals, first-look deals where we can work with really strong independent producers that are looking for strong distribution, access to deficit financing, and expertise in development in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or other parts of Europe.We can add value to these producers.

We wanted to start from an international perspective first, bring in our international buyers,get them into 13 one-hour episodes, and then when we’ve got most of the financing in place, go back to the U.S. as the last piece of the puzzle and get them in only if they’re willing to commit to 13 episodes. You’re going to see that formula duplicated by E1 on a number of properties, especially as high-end writers or book authors are looking to work in a different way, where they have more ownership, more upside, where it’s not a typical process where you’re in development for two to three years and if you’re lucky get a pilot order and nothing else. WS: You’re also working with Summit Entertainment. MORAYNISS: That’s a great example of E1 utilizing all

the pillars of its three businesses, which are TV, film and music.We have a preexisting relationship with Summit, where we invest in their slate of feature films and we theatrically release all of their features, including Twilight, New Moon and soon to be Eclipse, in the U.K. and Canada. We’re partnering with them on a property that they own, a feature film called Push. In addition to all the scripted series that we’re doing, we’re starting to ramp up and build on the alternative programming side in the U.S.We’re trying to utilize all of our internal expertise and resources, particularly using E1 Music.We just signed a deal with Faith Evans on our music label and we’re also developing a reality series with her.You’re going to see more synergies, with the music side, the TV side and the film side. WS: How has E1 raised its profile in the creative com-

munity to be able to attract high-profile projects? MORAYNISS: It has a lot to do with our executive

WS: Tell us about the growth in your U.S. series business. MORAYNISS: One of the highlights in our TV division

team.And then obviously our track record.When we do a show like Hung on HBO, it definitely attracts the community to us.They know that we can add value creatively to the material, they also know we’ve got a distribution infrastructure, we’ve got the capital resources to finance shows and greenlight them, but we’re not the size of a studio, we don’t have the same bureaucracy, we can do things differently, and we can move quickly.

is a Stephen King series called Haven.We’ve greenlit 13 one-hour episodes.We presold it to all the Syfy channels internationally through Universal Networks International. We sold it to Syfy in the U.S.We were brought the idea by two producers, Lloyd Segan and Shawn Piller.They wanted to work with a studio that wasn’t a typical studio.We pitched an idea they really liked, which was, why take a script into a U.S. network and develop it the traditional way, where you’re going to get a pilot order, shoot the pilot, and hopefully the pilot gets turned into a series.

WS: Do you expect to see more consolidation in the media business? MORAYNISS: I think so.You’re going to see more small companies that are very niche oriented and very focused on a particular aspect of the business, and then on the larger scale you’re going to see more consolidation. In order to survive as a larger company, where you have to continue to feed the beast and manage significant overhead,you need to diversify, you need to have a portfolio of businesses.

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Demanding As viewers increasingly want their content on demand, media companies are changing the way they do business. By Anna Carugati

We live in a world of e-mails, instant messaging and RSS feeds. We expect information at our fingertips in a matter of seconds.We Google at work and at home. We demand that tools, devices and apps be user-friendly—all because in this fast-paced, multiplatform environment, more than anything else we must be in control. So why on earth would we allow a network to dictate to us the day, time and place where we should enjoy TV programs or movies? Linear television? Really? That’s so yesterday—or is it?

For the time being, linear scheduled networks and a plethora of on-demand nonlinear services are coexisting. But as media companies try to keep up with our capricious need for finding content the moment we want it, wherever we are, they will make or break their fortunes based on whether they have the resources, creativity and willingness to navigate both linear and nonlinear media landscapes.

Viewers “Consumers are increasingly demanding random access to content—we all know that…and video on demand is a tremendous application,” says Michael Fries, the president and CEO of Liberty Global. “Viewing will increase on demand,”says Bill Nelson,the chairman and CEO of Home Box Office (HBO). “More and more, as time goes on and as the younger generation has a larger share of the HBO subscriber base, they have been essentially trained, if you would,to go to impulse viewing.So over time,

certainly the usage of HBO On Demand will continue to grow.” HBO was one of the pioneers of on-demand and soon discovered it was a benefit to subscribers and a boon to business. “Subscribers of HBO On Demand watch more of our programming and therefore they are more satisfied with their subscription,” continues Nelson.“We know that on-demand increases viewership of our programming by an average of about 20 percent. And on certain shows, HBO viewership on demand can be as high as almost 40 percent of the total viewership of that show.

Liberty Global/UPC Broadband. 74

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Phoning it in: Sky’s efforts to bolster its ondemand portfolio include partnering with T-Mobile to bring soccer action to mobile phones.

That is a revealing number because it means convenience is extremely important to the consumer, and we know the increased viewing means increased overall satisfaction, which is what drives our subscribers and certainly our revenues.” Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S. with 25 million television subscribers in 39 of the 50 states, is a leader in on-demand offerings. It started its service in 2003 and today its on-demand numbers are staggering:350 million views per month and 140 views per second as customers enjoy movies, full-length episodes of TV series and music videos. Demanding viewers are all over the world.Across the pond, the BBC took the on-demand concept and tailored it to its market and its remit. It places much of its output of television and radio programming on a catch-up service online, where it is available for seven days after broadcast. BBC iPlayer launched in December 2007 and now averages more than 100 million requests per month in a country with a population of 60 million, of which only 65 percent have broadband connections.

In continental Europe, the RTL Group, the largest commercial broadcaster in Europe with stations in several countries—including Germany, the U.K., France, Spain and the Netherlands—has online catch-up TV platforms that registered more than 1 billion video streams in 2009.That was an increase of 49 percent compared to 2008. And it’s certainly not only adults who are into the on-demand mode. One in eight requests on BBC iPlayer come through the PlayStation 3 or Nintendo Wii. When ITV, the leading commercial broadcaster in the U.K., launched its video player, it did so across numerous platforms, knowing that that was the smart way to pull in young viewers who are otherwise fleeing ne twork TV. Among the preschool services, Sprout in the U.S. has had 700 million orders since it launched in 2005. The PBS KIDS video player launched in December 2009 and has already had 173 million stream requests. What is driving this migration from linear TV to nonlinear on76

demand services, whether they are on the traditional TV set or on a laptop computer through a broadband connection or on a wireless mobile device? Convenience, choice and, here’s that word again, control.And broadcast and cable companies, producers, distributors and advertisers are adapting to this new reality. It’s not just about offering choice and convenience, it’s about staking out a piece of the nonlinear world so that brands, whether they be TV channels or individual programs, do not get lost in the huge selection viewers have on demand. ADDED BENEFITS

Broadcast and cable networks are finding success by offering their content on their websites. Hence the huge popularity of catch-up TV, whose premise is simple: if you miss the show when it is regularly scheduled, you have the chance to watch it at your convenience online. “Broadcasters are changing the Internet,” says David Brennan, the research and strategy director at Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the U.K.“They

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are making their libraries available not only on their proprietary windows but via third parties, and this is already yielding rewards. They are able to offer more content without diminishing their television audiences. Indeed, online content even shores up viewing and keeps people in the broadcast stream.When there is good creative content online, it actually adds to demand for television.” “Far from displacing broadcast, on-demand viewing is likely to enhance broadcasters because it’s the means by which consumers access TV content,” says David Ellender, the CEO of FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME). “Video on demand completely complements, supports and promotes linear channels,” agrees Bruce Boren, the VP of Televisa Networks, which has had VOD services in the U.S. for five years and recently rolled out VOD in Mexico. In fact, when a broadcast or cable network streams shows on its website it can increase ratings for individual series, bring added revenue to the network and added license fees to distributors.


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Portable entertainment: HBO this year rolled out, in conjunction with Verizon’s FiOS TV, HBO GO, allowing subscribers of the premium channel to access its programming online via a broadband connection.

“We look at nonlinear as incremental revenue,” says Cathy Payne, the CEO of Endemol Worldwide Distribution.“To date, where we’re seeing the most revenue is from services that are an addition to a primary broadcaster, where they have the ability to push and pull their viewers.” It is a highly engaged audience that is found online catching up on favorite TV shows.Those viewers are not just casually surfing through their electronic programming guide— they sought out that show because they want to watch it.This is allowing broadcasters to charge even higher advertising rates: there are fewer commercials online and viewers can’t zap through them. The scenario changes on online video services that are not connected to broadcasters, where viewership and engagement are harder to measure. “When it’s a stand-alone model, such as an Internet provider setting up their own [video streaming], they’ve got to get a lot of people to watch to deliver scale,” adds Payne. “Advertisers want to know how many people are seeing their ads on these different platforms,” says Brad Adgate, the senior VP and director of research at Horizon Media.“There

are no real metrics just yet for measuring online broadband video ads and mobile TV. It seems like the research always lags behind everything else. Right now there have been efforts made by the research community,including Nielsen,to get there, but it’s not there yet.” FOLLOW THE VIEWERS

Program providers are experimenting with a variety of business models in the nonlinear world. As challenging as this may be, they are finding various ways to connect with consumers and strengthen their brands. “We need our programming to move from linear to nonlinear as the viewers’ eyeballs move from linear to nonlinear, so that the advertising dollars will also stay with us,” says Kevin MacLellan, the president of Comcast International Media Group (CIMG) and Comcast Entertainment Productions (CEP). “We’ve taken a very friendly view towards making content available on demand,” continues MacLellan, who believes that CIMG’s content, which includes shows and clips from E! Entertainment Television and The Style Network, is particularly well suited to nonlinear viewing. “Part of the 78

reason for that is the type of content we have, which is non-scripted, both short-form clips and long-form episodes.We can make it available online in multiple places because we own all the rights to it.” MacLellan is using both an advertiser-supported and a subscription approach when making CIMG content available online. “Most of our deals, whether with a mobile operator or a cable affiliate or a DTH affiliate, are based on streaming of content; we have a two-hour loop for mobile operators, which runs continuously for 24 hours—it’s like a preproduced mobile channel. But we also make certain content, mostly short-form, available for VOD.” Short-form content on the web is also providing the U.K.-based distributor Fireworks International with new distribution opportunities. “The business that has really taken off for us is digital productions, the made-for-the-web series,” says Greg Phillips, the company’s president. “These little dramas are gathering pace. One of the objectives is to start these series out on the web, see if we can get [awareness and viewership] and then develop them into full TV series. It’s an alternative to the traditional pilot

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and we actually have an asset we can monetize.” Sesame Workshop, the producer and distributor of the preschool classic Sesame Street, now in its 40th season, cultivates a wide range of partnerships.“We have our primary broadcast relationship with PBS, and Sprout, but we also provide content to sesamestreet.org, pbskids.org, sprout.com,YouTube, Hulu,Yahoo Kids, Amazon VOD and iTunes,” says Terry Fitzpatrick, the Workshop’s executive VP of content distribution.“Each of them supports and extends the Sesame Street experience.We program across all of these devices not only to provide multiple exposures, but also to deepen the brand connection, which hopefully will increase both TV ratings and online views.” WHERE’S THE MONEY?

As for monetizing this content, Fitzpatrick sees opportunities “in two areas, primarily sponsorship and pay per download—the iTunes and Amazon model. Our podcast on iTunes has consistently been within the top two or three in the kids and family category, and when we launched it about two years ago, for eight days we were the number one podcast across all categories.” The iTunes model has also proven to be a very good one for A&E Television Networks (AETN), whose roster of channels includes History, Bio, A&E and Lifetime. “Our viewers are consuming content on a broad variety of devices and certainly on a time-shifted basis, and all of this activity reinforces our brands and drives more eyeballs to the TV screen,” says Steve Ronson, the executive VP of enterprises at AETN. “On a global basis we are developing ad-supported online and mobile businesses. And they are fueled by short-form content, by gaming and by social media,” explains Ronson.“Another big success is our robust download-to-own business. That appears on iTunes, Xbox 360, PlayStation and other


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platforms. In fact, in 2009, we continued our global expansion with iTunes and we’re live now in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain. We had in excess of 2.3 million downloads in 2009 throughout all the ESL downloadto-own platforms worldwide.” Ronson is also entering the micropayment business.“I think the transaction business is going to grow significantly,” he says. “We have started down that path with our dress-up virtual world on our Roiworld.com site, which is part of the Lifetime brand bouquet.That is kicking off and we have high hopes for incremental revenue as well as an increased brand halo effect. As media companies move forward they will continue to explore new models in integrated content, casual games and social media.That intersection is becoming increasingly interesting to media companies like ours.” “Freemium” is one of the new business models emerging from gaming and social-networking sites,

Play me!: Kids’ content providers such as Sesame Workshop are lining up deals with ondemand TV services as well as making their shows available on a download-to-own basis.

and consumers, especially young ones, are embracing it. “On Facebook you can play for free but if you want to buy a virtual good, you have to spend some real money. That is sinking in to the minds of consumers, young consumers in particular, who have been the most resistant to paying for content,” says Emiliano Calemzuk, the president of Fox Television Studios. “There may be models online that will try to emulate that—where you can watch a show for free and after a few episodes you have to start paying, whether it’s a small nominal fee per episode or a monthly subscription,” continues Calemzuk. “The most important part of this exercise is trying to figure out what amount people are comfortable paying,” he adds. “Is it 50 cents or 99 cents or $1.99? People have been getting content for free, but everybody is starting to realize that for the right price they’d be happy to pay for the convenience.” LONG LIVE LINEAR

The road ahead: The BBC’s hit motoring entertainment show Top Gear was the best-performing program of 2009 on BBC iPlayer, which offers a slate of programming from the British pubcaster online. 80

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Does all this on-demand activity, on TV and online, signal the death of linear channels? Many in the TV industry would answer using the famous quote from Mark Twain, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” “My view is that [linear and nonlinear have] been complementary so far,” says Erik Huggers, the director of future media and technology at the BBC.“We see that when primetime viewing tapers off in the linear world, it keeps going another hour in the on-demand world.” All channels are not created equal,” says Liberty Global’s Fries.“Certain channels are more important to consumers than other channels.I see sports and live news always surviving in a linear world. People will want real-time access to sports and news. But I think it also raises a slightly different question, and it’s one that we have to really get right, and the question is, when you’re in your living room, how hard do you want to work to gain access to the content that is important to you? The answer is going to vary by con-


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Concrete jungle: AETN owns much of the content that is rolled out on its portfolio of networks, such as History’s Life After People, enabling it to explore a variety of on-demand distribution models.

sumer and by generation and by demographic group. It’s going to take time for folks to embrace and get comfortable with digital technology. Most consumers are not as far along as we think they are. I do believe there is great appeal to random access, no question, but I do think it’s going to take some time for folks to be weaned off the convenience and the simplicity of traditional linear programming, especially linear channels that deliver the good stuff.” BARKING FOR VIEWERS

“There will still be networks,” agrees CIMG’s MacLellan.“They will just be in a form that we are currently not using. Do I think anyone is going to pick from individual programs and set a playlist for their entire week? No, I don’t. But do I think that a network in the future may be a barker channel that lets people know what is available for them to watch on demand? Yes, I do.” MacLellan also believes that news, sports and live events like the Oscars and the accompanying redcarpet specials, such as the ones that E! produces, are programs that people don’t want to miss.“So there are certain genres within that barker channel that are going to always be live. And I think you may see a

move to more live programming as a means of battling the online viewing phenomenon.” FME’s Ellender agrees that live sporting events, big news and current-affairs events, as well as entertainment shows like Idols and The X Factor, will be key genres on linear networks. He adds,“It’s not feasible to make these shows available in the on-demand world, because of the huge audiences that are being generated. Here in the U.K. the finale of The X Factor was seen by about 19.1 million people—that’s 62 percent of the viewing audience.There isn’t a bandwidth on another medium able to get that much viewership. It would bring the system crashing down. So I think technology has got some way to go before you could even contemplate putting some of these big shows, even if it were feasible to cover the cost, and that model would look very different.” And in a world so concentrated on finding new business models aimed at protecting the content that fuels the nonlinear world, Calemzuk of Fox TV Studios offers an appropriate reminder. “Let’s not forget that today linear channels are the ones that finance the production of programming. There are always different sources of financing 82

available, such as brand integration. But today the vast majority of financing comes from linear channels. So not just from a viewer perspective but from an economic perspective we need to find a way in which linear channels continue to exist and thrive financially.” THE VIRTUAL WATERCOOLER

One area of the nonlinear world that is really helping linear channels is social-networking sites.“As much as we deplore and combat piracy on the Internet, the fan activity online around our programs has really worked well,” says FME’s Ellender. “Social-networking sites have really been fantastic promotional vehicles for our shows,” he continues. “Susan Boyle in Britain’s Got Talent didn’t become a phenomenon just on YouTube, she really became a phenomenon through a combination of YouTube, MySpace,Twitter and Facebook. The Susan Boyle clip, which interestingly was started by a fan uploading the clip on YouTube, took the program and the format worldwide instantly. It wasn’t us that did it; this was a fan that did it.” Social networks have also allowed FME “to dialogue with that fan base in a way that we

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weren’t able to before,” continues Ellender. “And that gives us the ability to cross-promote our shows. We’ve done this recently around a dating show in the U.K. on ITV1 called Take Me Out and also with The X Factor last year, which is also for ITV. These efforts have helped reach excellent numbers for the show in our demographic targets. The audience can watch the show but then immerse themselves in it online and with their friends. So we’ve seen a great opportunity to widen the experience beyond just the television broadcast.” Discovery Communications is also mining significant promotional opportunities in social-networking sites.“We are a nonfiction company and we have a ton of great characters that are real and have loyal fan bases: we have Jamie and Adam from MythBusters reaching out on Twitter talking about what they are doing, we have the captains on Deadliest Catch, and Kate Gosselin from Jon & Kate Plus 8,” says Discovery’s president and CEO, David Zaslav. “We have found that social media has been of great help to us,” he continues.“We [have] our personalities engage with their fans.… We took a couple of clips of River Monsters from Animal Planet and put them on YouTube and they became viral. People started passing them around, and when we launched River Monsters, it was the most successful show in the history of Animal Planet with no marketing.“ The key words here are “with no marketing”—meaning no extra money was spent to promote a show because the online chatter and word of mouth is becoming more powerful than any on-air promotional campaign. That in itself is monumental—a huge illustration of the power of the nonlinear world. The smart media companies will harness that power and marry it to compelling content. In the end the desire for control will win out: consumers will retain control of their entertainment experiences, and networks and producers will maintain control of their programming.


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Chase Carey DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND COO, NEWS CORPORATION As one of the leading media conglomerates in the world, News Corporation has the resources necessary to provide a wide variety of content on a range of platforms beyond traditional movie theaters and TV sets. In this constantly evolving media landscape, Chase Carey understands the value of keeping apace with advances in technology.

to make sure we are maximizing the opportunities in all of those areas.They are growing very strongly, but as businesses they are all in their infancy. We have to learn and develop and then take advantage as those businesses evolve in coming years.

WS: As people nowadays watch cable on

CAREY: I think “business models” is too

WS: What have been the major challenges

demand, online on demand or download to own, is there any one model that is more important than another? CAREY: No, they are all important. Electronic distribution is both a tremendously important arena for our future and a great opportunity for us. As you say, people are going to want to access product when they want, where they want, how they want, and certainly today you hear a lot of buzz about mobile being a new dimension to that experience when you see devices like the iPad coming out. It is tremendously important

strong a term.We are learning that there will continue to be free content, i.e., ad-supported

of owning and operating MySpace, and what have you learned from the experience?

WS: Looking at content online, what business

today.They have really become the way people share and form opinions and they will continue to be an increasingly fundamental part of how you promote product and share information on product. Social networks are becoming part of the fabric of life today, and it is critically important to develop them to their fullest potential.

models are emerging right now?

“Social networks are becoming part of the fabric of life today, and it is critically important to develop them to their fullest potential.” content, but there is an increasing recognition that the dual-revenue stream or multiplerevenue stream is the right way to try to build that business. It’s not a consensus, but we certainly understand more today than we did six months or 12 months ago regarding the importance of ease of use for customers, in what forms do customers want to access content, watch content, and what the role of advertising is in that.We are learning a lot as we go, and business models are evolving and we’ll see a lot of changes over the next few years. WS: How can media companies get young adults to pay for content? CAREY: Hopefully people recognize that great content is uniquely valuable, and I think people will pay a fair price. It’s important that we deliver it in attractive ways, in ways that people value, and that we respect the customer in doing so. I actually am probably more optimistic that people will pay a fair price for content.And if it’s delivered as a quality experience and a reliable experience—we can’t take viewers for granted—I think people will pay. WS: Are you finding social networks a valuable tool in promoting content and creating that “virtual watercooler”? CAREY: There is no question that social networks have become a mainstay of society 84

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CAREY: In hindsight, the issues we’ve dealt with at MySpace are the challenges of managing explosive growth. MySpace probably grew too far too wide and lost a bit of focus on its core. During the last nine months or so we have made changes and brought focus back and went through a painful rightsizing.We are still a work in progress, but we are stabilizing it and actually feel quite good about the track we are on.We are focused on making MySpace a place where consumers can share thoughts and ideas around music, entertainment and content, and we’re getting some traction doing that. We’ve got some real assets that we can build on and it’s important for us to focus on: what are our strengths, what is it that distinguishes MySpace, and how do we make sure that it is a great experience for our customers? During the past nine months we have also been improving the customer experience, which, in some places, we probably did not do a good enough job. Again, we first must have a focus on what we mean to customers, and that is building a social network around those core content areas, making sure it’s a good experience for customers as they access it. It’s a work in progress, but I think we’ve made some real headway in the last couple quarters.

For more from Chase Carey, see page 171.


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Gerhard Zeiler CEO, RTL GROUP It used to be if you missed a favorite program you would have to wait for the channel to air it again, and that could be months away. Nowadays, with catch-up TV—online services operated by broadcasters offering shows that ran on linear channels—viewers can watch episodes they missed. As Gerhard Zeiler explains, this is becoming an extremely valuable asset for the RTL Group.

WS: The RTL Group has some of the most successful catch-up TV services in Europe.As they become increasingly popular, are you having a hard time bringing advertisers online? ZEILER: Yes and no.When money is tight and you start a new venture, it’s always hard to convince advertisers to jump on board right away. In our second full year of catchup TV, RTL Group’s ventures in Germany, France and the Netherlands had tremendous success in terms of the users. We had 136 million video views with RTL Now in Germany, 148 million with M6 Replay in

France and 185 million with RTL Gemist in the Netherlands. In terms of advertising revenue we are still at the beginning, but I’m pretty sure that 2010 will see a very significant increase in advertising revenue for these platforms, because people are used to advertising on catch-up TV ventures. I’m very optimistic about that; we’ll see a similar growth in advertising in our catch-up TV ventures as our American colleagues have seen with theirs.

people spend watching TV will increase overall. Nonlinear TV is not a substitute for traditional TV, but a complementary service, which generates additional viewing time. WS: Nowadays, does all content have to be

multiplatform? Or is it sufficient to always start with a good idea and then adapt it to various platforms? ZEILER: The latter. First the idea has to be right,then you have to make a hit program out of it.Today you also have to think with a multi-

“Nonlinear TV is not a substitute for traditional TV, but a complementary service, which generates additional viewing time.” WS: What are you learning about who is

using c atch-up TV? ZEILER: The more we offer catch-up TV, the more we know about it. First of all, the more successful a program is on traditional, linear TV, the more successful it is on catchup TV. People really want to see on catch-up TV what they missed on the linear channel. Second, everything that is serialized has an advantage when it comes to catch-up TV: Desperate Housewives and Lost have an advantage over NCIS. All the daily soap formats, reality formats such as Come Dine with Me, and big shows such as Idols, Got Talent, The X Factor and serialized fiction, are all especially popular on catch-up TV. WS: Is catch-up TV providing your programs

with an even broader audience than the one you are reaching on the linear channels? ZEILER: I’m not ruling out that we may eventually get a broader audience in the long run, but we haven’t seen that yet.What we are seeing is that if our audience wants to watch our formats, and for some reason they can’t watch them when they’re on TV, then they have the chance to watch them on catch-up TV, that is the main aspect. In addition, people who use catch-up TV watch moreTV than people who don’t use it, so I’m pretty confident that if we make catchup TV available to every viewer, the time that 86

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platform brain from the very beginning—this is definitely a difference from previous years. But you can’t run something on a new platform if it hasn’t been a success on traditional TV.The idea has to be right, the execution has to be right, and then you’ll have the chance at building a brand, first on TV and then also on other platforms, with merchandising, live events, iPhone apps, magazines, games. WS: How has your sales team been working with advertisers during the past year? ZEILER: We tried to give them extra value, not only with additional discounts, which all broadcasters were forced to give, but also by concentrating on new promotions and nonspot advertising. We tried to put more advertising on the screen during programs, such as 30-second or 20-second logos.We have special advertising cleverly included in the programs. Unlike our U.S. counterparts, we have to take great pains to convince our regulators to allow product placement.We are increasingly able to do that and are getting much more placement than just two or three years ago.That is how we approach our clients.We tell them we know it’s as tight for you as it is for us now, but we try to give you more value for the same amount of money.

For more from Gerhard Zeiler, see page 223.


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David Zaslav PRESIDENT AND CEO, DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS True to its mission of satisfying people’s curiosity about the world around them, Discovery Communications has built a global channel business on the strength of its nonfiction programming. The type of content it produces is also particularly well suited to new technologies and new-media platforms, whether on computers or mobile devices, as David Zaslav explains.

having our personalities engage with their fans and by taking pieces of our shows and placing them onYouTube.We did it with River Monsters on Animal Planet.We took a couple of clips and put them on YouTube and they became viral. People started passing them around and when we launched River Monsters, it was the most successful show in the history of Animal Planet with no marketing.

WS: What opportunities do social-networking

sites likeYouTube or Facebook offer? ZASLAV: Social media provides a really great

opportunity for us.We are a nonfiction company and we have a ton of great characters that are real and have loyal fan bases: we have Jamie [Hyneman] and Adam [Savage] from MythBusters reaching out on Twitter talking about what they are doing, we have the captains on Deadliest Catch, and Kate Gosselin from Jon & Kate Plus 8.We have found that social media has been of great help to us.We are not attacking social media by putting out our content in long form, we’re doing it by

WS: Are social networking sites more suitable for clips as opposed to long-form content?

top three or four websites for women in America, should be part of the venture, so we own 50/50 of that also. We do have a site for each of our channels. We hope that eventually they will be economic drivers. In the case of Oprah.com, that already is an economic driver—it is quite profitable. In the case of most of the websites that are affiliated with cable channels, including ours,although they are quite successful in terms of volume,they are not great economic drivers. We are not making money yet from the sites.

“We think that our brands, our characters and our content work better on the web and on most social-networking platforms as clips.” ZASLAV: We’ve really held back on our

long-form content.We have a great 20-year library. A lot of it continues to work on our channels all over the world. There isn’t a great economic model for long-form content on the web today, although we are making progress. Hulu, for example is talking about maybe charging, and authentication is a step in the right direction. We are holding back our long form, one, because of the economic model, and two, because we think that our brands, our characters and our content work better on the web and on most social-networking platforms as clips.There is no reason to put [on] our longform content. For instance, on YouTube, we have a MythBusters channel, which is working quite well. WS: Websites are an integral part of your

channels.Why is online important? ZASLAV: It is important because in our

quest to satisfy curiosity we need to have a presence online.When we wanted to launch Planet Green we thought it was important to go out and buy the number one online site in the green space, treehugger.com. When we did our deal with Oprah [to jointly launch OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network], we felt very strongly that there is room for that great brand on cable. But we also felt that Oprah.com, which is one of the 88

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But we want to have them for people who care about our brands and our shows—we want them to have a place to go.We also syndicate a lot of our content all over the web so they don’t have to come to us to get it. WS: How big of a driver has HD been, and what plans do you have for 3-D? ZASLAV: HD, particularly in the last year, has been a big driver for us because when people buy HD sets they tend to spend time in the HD tier. So you can make the argument that the HD tier, for someone who has a new set, is sort of like a new analogue tier. It’s only 30, 40, 50 channels, and we have 7 of them. We went out two and a half years ago and spent a lot of money on HD content.We have already seen, and in the next few years we’re going to see, a lot of growth from that.And we have rolled out HD in more than 45 countries.We were very early and very aggressive because we think the consumers are going to be driving more and more for a better viewing experience and a closer-to-real viewing experience, and HD provides that. That’s one of the reasons why we’ve been so aggressive about pursuing 3-D. We were lucky to get together with Sony and IMAX for the first 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week 3-D channel.

For more from David Zaslav, see page 258.


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Bill Nelson CHAIRMAN AND CEO, HOME BOX OFFICE Long before the term “wherever, whenever viewing” became popular, HBO was anticipating its subscribers’ wants and needs. It pioneered on-demand television and multiplex channels as well as the original programming that drove those services. Today it is finding new ways of offering programming online with HBOGO.com. Bill Nelson talks about the importance of always keeping the customer satisfied.

WS: When did the idea for on-demand

viewing come about on HBO?

whelmingly enthusiastic. In the 1990s, when HBO had a significant amount of quality original programming and the licensed Hollywood movies, technology again provided a natural progression that allowed us to be the first mover to on-demand. So because of our huge advantage in programming and the capability of on-demand viewing, HBO has been able to increase its lead position over the competition. The programming inventory superiority is even much more apparent when you view it on an on-demand interface.

extremely important to the consumer, and we know the increased viewing means increased overall satisfaction, which is what drives our subscribers and certainly our revenues. WS: Are you finding that because of the

convenience of the service, more subscribers are viewing HBO On Demand than the linear channel? NELSON: Currently, there is not more viewing on demand than on linear because of the number of multiplex channels we

NELSON: Back in the 1980s, in order to fill

out our 24/7 52-week schedule, HBO had an abundance of programming, both licensed and original, and unfortunately for the consumer at that time, they could only view what was scheduled at the moment they decided to watch the one linear network. But as compression technology freed up capacity, it allowed us to launch multiple channels of HBO—we call them multiplex [channels]. And the consumer response to that was over-

“Subscribers of HBO On Demand watch more of our programming and therefore they are more satisfied with their subscription.” WS: How important has HBO On Demand been for the company, and how has it built on the relationship you have with your customers? NELSON: Subscribers of HBO On Demand watch more of our programming and therefore they are more satisfied with their subscription. Again, the quality and quantity of our programming on demand actually lets the consumer impulse-view what’s attractive to them on a very convenient basis, so ondemand immediately exposes the depth and breadth of the network’s programming inventory. It’s a paradigm that lifts our brand above the competition because the superiority of the content becomes instantly clear to the consumer. And that supports the power of our brand, the programming offering, and once again makes the price/value proposition that much stronger because of the impulse nature of the viewing capability and therefore the ultimate viewing convenience. WS: What do you know about how your subscribers are using on-demand both on TV and online? NELSON: We know that on-demand increases viewership of our programming by an average of about 20 percent.And on certain shows, HBO viewership on demand can be as high as almost 40 percent of the total viewership of that show.That is a revealing number because it means convenience is 90

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have. As far as a trend over time is concerned, viewing will increase on demand. And we have seen differences in how males and females view—typically the male is more inclined to surf through the HBO multiplex channels, and females are more likely to go right to HBO On Demand. More and more, as time goes on and as the younger generation has a larger share of the HBO subscriber base, they have been essentially trained, if you would, to go to impulse viewing. So over time, certainly the usage of HBO On Demand will continue to grow. WS: Are you finding that the Internet is a friend or an enemy to a pay-TV service? NELSON: I’d say it’s a friend, and we’ve been able to successfully utilize it in three ways. First, it’s a very strong promotional vehicle.We recently relaunched our network website hbo.com with a very elegant design that puts the programming front and center with some very vibrant video. Fans of HBO love to immerse themselves in this world, whether to partake in community message boards, watch video clips or search our schedule.Also, for promotional purposes, we make video material available across a variety of platforms, including YouTube, iTunes, Facebook and MySpace. Last year alone, and this is a very interesting statistic for us, nearly 200 million pieces of HBO content were


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Film still plays a very, very important role for us and still brings value to our subscribers.

The Pacific on HBO.

viewed on those sites. These sampling opportunities then result in new subscribers, or purchases of our DVDs, and ultimately translate into more revenue as well. Secondly, we’ve used the Internet to build the HBO brand with successful interactive experiments, such as HBO Voyeur, which took home three advertising awards at the Cannes Lions Advertising Festival two years ago, and more recently with HBO Imagine [which allows consumers to view a scene from four different perspectives]. We’ve found ways of using the Internet so the consumer can actually interact and almost control the way they use some of our promotional original programming. And third, of course, the Internet provides business opportunities. We recently began rolling out our new broadband product, HBOGO.com. It’s attached to our subscription service, and HBO GO gives our customers another way to access HBO programming wherever and whenever they want. It enhances the subscription,therefore makes the service more attractive and satisfying. It is an absolutely beautiful product with over 600 hours of HBO programming available anywhere you have access to a broadband connection.After airing on our linear network,the programming goes on to live on other platforms, using the Internet not only from a promotional standpoint, or an interactive standpoint with our subscribers and potential customers,but also for the real business opportunities of enhancing the value of our subscriptions and also downstream video exploitation of those shows as well.The Internet is certainly a friend. WS: Original programming has been so

important in driving all HBO businesses, what product are you most excited about now? NELSON: HBO has been the clear leader in setting the high watermark in original programming for TV, from critical acclaim to viewership to awards.Now we have more original programming in development and on the

air than ever before in our history,and I’m very optimistic about the prospects of those shows. A few I’m especially excited about. One is The Pacific,the epic 10-part World War II mini-series from the same producers as Band of Brothers, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg and Gary Goetzman. It follows three U.S. marines from the 1942 battle of Guadalcanal right through V-J Day in 1945. Another is You Don’t Know Jack, an HBO film that offers an absolute stellar performance by Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian during his epic legal battles defending a patient’s right to die.And a third is Boardwalk Empire,airing this fall, which is an ambitious new drama series set in Atlantic City at the dawn of Prohibition in 1920. It’s executive produced by the Academy Award–winning Martin Scorsese, who also directed the pilot, and created by Emmy Award–winner Terence Winter of The Sopranos.We are also thrilled about a lot of our returning popular series, from True Blood and Entourage to Hung, Big Love and Curb Your Enthusiasm, to name a few. WS: As HBO’s original programming

increases in importance, are feature films a little less valuable, because they are available to viewers in so many ways? NELSON: We still see theatrical films as a significant part of our pay-service offering. They make up about 70 percent of our schedule and are significant attributes to HBO On Demand and now Cinemax On Demand, as well as our new broadbanddelivered HBOGO.com product. Hollywood movies have always been exploited before the pay-TV window, but there is still a strong desire among our subscribers for uninterrupted, unedited Hollywood movies. Last year, for example, we saw our Saturday night theatricals jump about 40 percent in ratings compared to the year before. Our research tells us that the very people who like to watch a film at the theater, or during the VOD window, or even those who buy DVDs, are the same people who rank HBO as the highest price/value pay-TV offering. 92

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WS: Did the recession affect you or did people opt to maintain pay TV in their budgets? NELSON: Our research showed that a lot of people stopped going to upscale restaurants or buying jewelry or automobiles. Those types of luxury items were among the things that average consumers cut from their budgets.They retreated to their homes and then said,“Now that we have cut all of that out, what do we have?” And most important for HBO, because of our brand and our stellar programming lineup, both licensed Hollywood movies and original programs, consumers continue to see HBO as a great price/value. If you think about it, our average price is about $15 [a month]. That is less than the cost of one DVD. It’s equivalent to only about three downloads on iTunes. HBO offers great price/value when you think about the hundreds and hundreds of hours of movies, sports programming, documentaries and HBO Films we have to offer. Even during this bad economy, our brand value increased and became a magnet and a safe haven for those consumers who unfortunately had to pull back on spending. WS: How important are HBO’s international businesses to the company’s overall revenues? NELSON: International has been a very important financial growth element for us. We have built the HBO name into an international brand through licensing our programming into many markets overseas as well as distributing the HBO and Cinemax networks. Because of that strong brand recognition we have some very attractive growth opportunities we are pursuing. HBO Inc. has HBO and Cinemax networks in more than 57 countries, and HBO has the lead pay-TV position in each of the markets in which it operates. In those markets we are now ramping up production of local original programming as well as introducing innovations such as multiplex and on-demand like we’ve done here in the U.S.And on the sales front, which really put our brand front and center across many countries, we license that original programming to broadcast and cable networks in more than 216 countries and territories. And we have a very solid DVD business internationally as well.


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Jeremy Darroch CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, BSKYB As the leading pay-TV platform in Europe, BSkyB has built a successful business based on a simple premise: put the customer first and provide the most convenient viewing experience possible. Jeremy Darroch talks about the importance of constantly offering new services and how they have helped attract nearly 10 million subscribers.

WS: You have put HD at the center of Sky’s

customers who choose to take an HD subscription pack receive the box for free, making Europe’s best HD offering more accessible to more people. We will also continue to add more value to our HD service over the next 12 months: we’ve just rolled out a new electronic programming guide to all those boxes, and we started 3-D this year and we’ll follow later this year with video on demand.

DARROCH: Yes, certainly.We see two trends when we offer something new. First of all, it persuades some people,who so far had felt Sky wasn’t for them, to say,“I’m now ready to sign up.” But we also see our existing customers— and we are now in one-third of all homes in the U.K.—giving us more of their business, taking more of our additional services. WS: How much are your subscribers watching

strategy. How is that paying off for you? DARROCH: It’s paying off well. We took a

WS: How do you decide when to offer

decision to launch HD a few years ago, seeing it as a very attractive investment for us to make. The response that we’ve received from customers has been very positive.We now have over 2 million customers subscribing to our HD service.As we head into 2010, we’re pushing HD even harder: now, new and upgrading customers get a Sky+ HD box,whatever package they take.That makes it easy and efficient for them to upgrade to additional services, but it also enables us to roll out innovations even faster to our customer base.And those

something new?

live, how much through their PVR and how much online?

“Innovation is absolutely at the heart of what we are about; it is what our customers expect from us.” DARROCH: First of all, we never stop, we’re constantly looking for ways in which we can improve our service. Innovation is absolutely at the heart of what we are about; it is what our customers expect from us. If we ever did stop, we’d be in trouble: the marketplace is very competitive, and we know that our customers are only ever one phone call away from cancellation, so it’s always in our interest to keep offering something fresh and new to excite and retain customers. This year we are launching 3-D in the U.K. It will be Europe’s first 3-D channel, which we’ve started to offer to commercial premises, and we will follow that up later in the year to homes when 3-D TVs become increasingly available on the high street.We will also launch a brand-new video-ondemand service later this year. As well as offering new technologies and products, we also want to constantly offer more quality content and content that really stands out in our customers’ homes. We’re offering customers something new across the whole range of services we provide, and making sure that there is always something down the pipe that hopefully will surprise them and that they’ll enjoy. WS: And are your new offerings also a way of attracting new subscribers? 94

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DARROCH: If you look at Sky+, which is

now in half of all our customers’ homes, we estimate that time-shifting is used about 10 billion times a year. Something like 18 percent of viewing in all Sky homes is timeshifted.There’s also a growing appetite for content on our websites and for our mobileTV offerings as well. Having said that, you shouldn’t underestimate the popularity of linear channels, which continue to take the lion’s share of viewing. WS: Is the viewer’s desire to watch whenever, wherever a growing trend? DARROCH: It is. First of all, we’ve seen it very clearly through the increased level of time-shifted viewing via the PVR. But also, we’re starting to see customers wanting more portability so they can consume content away from home, through Sky Mobile TV, for example, or our apps for the iPhone and 3G networks. We’re constantly looking at other ways we can make our services widely available across multiple distribution platforms. We work with many different providers to offer our services to their devices, and we’re already working with all the major mobile networks in the U.K. to make away-from-home consumption easier.

For more from Jeremy Darroch, see page 208.


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Michael Eisner FOUNDER, THE TORNANTE COMPANY Michael Eisner has overseen some of the most popular movies and TV series ever made, first during the early part of his career at ABC and Paramount Pictures, and later as CEO of The Walt Disney Company. He has since founded The Tornante Company, whose studio Vuguru is producing content for digital and international platforms.

WS: What growth opportunities do you see for Vuguru? EISNER: The growth opportunity is there for anybody who will take it—it’s like a lot of low-hanging fruit.There are a lot of people who will try to take it, including Vuguru, and hopefully we will succeed. The fact of the matter is that with the explosion of broadband the cost of online distribution has gotten very, very low and will continue to go down. And you have pretty seamless distribution today with the advent of all sorts of Internet-to-the-TV services, whether it’s Boxee or Apple TV, or whether it’s Comcast or Time Warner’s

TV Everywhere or RODO [Rogers On Demand Online]. A lot of people are watching online.A guy at the gym was telling me the other day he was thinking about getting rid of DIRECTV. I asked why. He said, More and more I’m watching everything online. DIRECTV is costing me $140 a month and I can buy a Boxee for $200. At the end of the day, on the Internet there is existing programming that is placed on different distribution platforms and then there is

compelling sports, will find its way onto many different kinds of [platforms]. There will also be the lower-end horrible stuff, and there will probably be more of that, but the middle-level stuff and the very expensive stuff in the early years are going to have a problem. Obviously, the Internet is not ready to finance Avatar, but it will be able to 10 or 20 years from now. And in the meantime, the [Internet] is going to become more and more of an advertising vehicle. The economic model is improving and rapidly.

“For me, the best kind of model is to make great content, because for the last 3,000 years content has survived.” original product.And if you add on advertising, this is the killer piece of information. I was reviewing some Nielsen data recently— in the ad-supported media, 75 percent of time spent with media today is split between television and the Internet, and the other 25 percent is split between radio, newspapers, magazines and the rest.And of that 75 percent, TV has 37 percent of the time spent viewing and is commanding about 32 percent of the total media-advertising spend. The Internet has 38 percent of the viewing and it is getting only 8 percent of the advertising. So at the end of the day, I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but somehow the Internet is going to get its 32 percent of the advertising dollars, once it’s cleaned up and it’s organized and the advertisers know where they are going. For that reason I believe Vuguru has a [sustainable business model]. WS: People are saying that linear channels will eventually become irrelevant as more and more viewers watch on-demand. EISNER: I don’t think anybody knows exactly the final solution of how media will be consumed. I believe there will be linear and nonlinear, I believe there will be subscription and advertising, I believe that the era of total control by big media companies is probably going to end, that compelling stories and high-quality programming, like 96

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So what is the best kind of model? For me the best kind of model is to make great content, because for the last 3,000 years content has survived. Advertising models don’t survive, broadcast models don’t survive, pay-perview models don’t survive, even companies that are in distribution, music, newspapers or broadcast, don’t survive. What survives is compelling content. It does. WS: How do you see the broadcast networks

solving the problem of attracting large audiences with quality programming while the audience is fragmenting and advertising revenues are going down? EISNER: My view has always been, the only way to dig yourself out of a hole is to create a great show and hopefully, if you do enough great shows, some will become cultural phenomena. If you own Grey’s Anatomy or if you own the NFL—whatever you own and control and make at a reasonable cost—you can choose whether to put it exclusively on your service or whether to put it exclusively as a first run on your service and then syndicate it widely as second or third runs. If I were one of the big media companies, I would spend capital on content, as Comcast [is doing] in buying NBC Universal.Yes they have to spend capital on maintaining their [facilities],but looking for the new [facilities] is risky, looking for the new show is not as risky.


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Michael Fries PRESIDENT AND CEO, LIBERTY GLOBAL Liberty Global is the largest cable company outside the U.S., with operations in Chile, Europe and Australia, reaching some 15.2 million video subscribers, 6.7 million broadband Internet subscribers and 5.2 million voice subscribers. As Mike Fries explains, constantly innovating is the key to keeping existing customers and attracting new ones.

WS: How important are on-demand services for a cable company? FRIES: Consumers are increasingly demanding random access to content—we all know that. Cable-TV operators have responded and video on demand is a tremendous application. Today we have launched it in many of our markets and we are still rolling it out in others.The number one issue for rolling out VOD is not technology—it’s content.We have to continue to gain access to on-demand content as cable operators in the U.S. have. Comcast has some 10,000 hours of content. We might

have in certain of our markets 1,000 hours. So we have to continue to improve the availability of content on demand. I would say the most important piece of the on-demand puzzle for us is our relationships with broadcasters around Europe. As you may know, broadcasters in Europe command on average between 60 percent and 80 percent of viewership, whereas in the U.S broadcast networks get about 40 percent. So broadcasters are extremely important partners of ours and I really believe we’re

that is not necessarily taking away from the experience consumers are having with traditional television today. So the opportunity we have as an industry is to create a seamless integration for consumers on the television set. If you look at what we are doing with our next generation set-top box, we are creating an entirely new user interface that will allow consumers to not only network their content within their home, but seamlessly integrate web content, on-demand content, recorded content and live content and to do that on the

“Catch-up TV is one of the killer apps on our digital platforms. It’s a revenue generator for us and...for the broadcasters.” approaching the tipping point where broadcasters in our core markets realize the benefits of an on-demand cable-TV platform for their content. Number one, we protect their content.When you put your TV online you obviously take a risk as to whether or not your content is protected. Number two, we are able to pay our programming partners, whereas when you put your content online it’s free and the advertising is spotty. Number three, we are able to put the content in an environment where it is very easy for consumers to watch it. Catch-up TV is one of the killer apps on our digital platforms. It’s a revenue generator for us and it’s a revenue generator for the broadcasters. And it allows them to expand their audience and show their viewers that they are innovating as well. On-demand is very important for us and will continue to be a big focus. WS: As viewers can increasingly find pro-

gramming they want online, what challenges does this present the cable industry? FRIES: It’s more an opportunity than a challenge, to be honest with you.TV viewership is actually stable or increasing in most markets today. People are watching more television, not less. There is no question that the frequency of online video is increasing, but in reality the vast majority of that time is spent snacking on 2- to 3-minute videos. It appears 98

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TV screen in their living room. Secondly, cable operators are spending a fair amount of time creating what in the U.S. is called the TV Everywhere concept, where if you subscribe to cable you’ll be able to view your favorite content online for free. WS: Authentication? FRIES: Exactly, and that has great merit and

potential in my opinion. One of the reasons that I’m convinced of the benefits of TV Everywhere is that consumer groups in the U.S. are up in arms.They are very concerned that this new approach to television online will somehow stifle innovation among start-ups and other over-the-top providers, which tells me one thing: it’s going to work.The arguments that they are making are silly and shortsighted. Here you have cable-TV operators willing to provide innovative features to consumers for free. How can that be bad for consumers? In fact, this new application in my view could do to online video what the cable and satellite industries did to TiVo, essentially embed the functionality in their offering and by doing so give consumers a great experience that they don’t need to search for anywhere else. WS: There are two trends in television

today. On one hand, young adults tend to be unwilling to pay for cable TV because they are so used to finding what they want


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Digital TV control room at Liberty Global’s Swiss platform, Cablecom.

online. And on the other hand, HD TV sets are completely transforming the viewing experience.Where is the industry going and will it be able to get young adults to pay? FRIES: That is a very interesting point and you have positioned the question appropriately. It is to some extent not generational but demographic and by that I mean young adults generally aren’t paying for the largescreen HD sets; often they are not in an economic position to do that. And it’s my view that once they do get to the point that they have a living room and a family and invest in a large-screen HD set, they will want a quality of service that exceeds anything that can be achieved online. So from our perspective we’re in the quality-of-service business, meaning that we are going to provide folks with a 100-megabit broadband speed, with massive amounts of HD content, with an amazing user interface, and we are going to allow them to benefit from those services on their couch in front of their 50-inch flat screen. That’s where we have to keep focused.That doesn’t mean we won’t continue to look at the online video environment. We will create seamless integration between these two platforms, but fundamentally when you invest in that TV set, you want a great quality of service. The second point is that Europe is much more fragmented than the U.S., so there are for sure similar trends occurring in Europe with respect to online video and consumer behavior. There are also similar trends in Europe with respect to HD sets and so I think while it’s still fragmented, it’s headed in the same direction.That doesn’t frighten us, that actually has us excited about this business. WS: What offerings are driving the businesses in your various territories? FRIES: The part of our business that is the most critical to us today probably falls into

two key areas.To begin with, since we are in 14 different markets, we have varying levels of digital-TV penetration. Everywhere we operate we are trying to convert our customers to digital video and that generally requires an investment on our part and it also usually results in reasonably good increases in revenues from customers. So getting digital television into the homes of our consumers is critical. And once we get the digital-TV box in the house, we then can, of course, upsell things like DVRs, HD services and VOD. The second most important part of our product offering is clearly broadband.The cable TV industry, as much as any industry, has delivered the web 2.0 to consumers and now we are in a whole new world of service and applications. But we are offering across nearly all of our European markets 100+-megabit broadband speeds and we are probably a little bit farther ahead than most operators.We have invested substantially in new technologies that allow us to provide faster speeds and we are finding that consumers are absolutely craving them. And where we are offering these products we are stealing back market share from incumbents and we are getting great revenues from consumers. So digital TV and broadband are the core growth engines for our business and that is where we are focused. WS: Looking ahead 12 to 24 months, what

challenges and opportunities do you see for Liberty Global? FRIES: When it comes to our products and our services, we’ve got a pretty good handle on where we are going. Our opportunities lie in two products.The first is digital television and there are more than 10 million homes that are still getting only 30 channels of TV from us.We have a great opportunity to bring these consumers into the digital television environment.We also have a great opportunity 100

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to continue to roll out 100-megabit broadband speed and change the definition of broadband in our core markets. DSL is not broadband anymore. Our ability to change that and regain the high ground in our markets is critical. I’d say the challenges to some extent are external because we are always focused on the regulatory environments we operate in and making sure that regulators understand the importance of infrastructure-based competition. It’s very easy and convenient for a regulator to say,“Well, you’re big so you have to share.” First of all, we’re not that big, and to get to where we are we had to invest millions of dollars. Without a return on that investment we are not going to continue investing, and that’s not good for consumers or application providers or content providers or anyone else. The second point in that context is making sure that our regulators understand that it’s the incumbent telcos in our markets that truly throw their weight around.Whether it’s in their mobile business or fixed-line business or broadband business, they are anywhere from 10 to 20 times larger than the average cable-TV company. So the idea that we need regulation is a bit farfetched when you consider the size and scale and scope of the incumbent telcos who are national in reach and monopolistic, at least in some cases, in behavior. And the last point is we get concerned, to some extent, about irrational competition. When start-up operators attack our market with pricing that is not supportable on any economic basis, they have the potential of disrupting investment and innovation. We worry about that in some of our Eastern European markets, but fundamentally our long-term view is that these sorts of competitors don’t last and fortunately we have the balance sheet and the strategy to outlast those sorts of events.


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Chris Albrecht PRESIDENT AND CEO, STARZ Chris Albrecht certainly knows the power of original programming in drawing ratings and critical acclaim to a pay-TV service. At HBO he shepherded hits such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City, which were game-changers in the pay-TV world. Today at Starz he is poised to take original series and movies to a new level.

WS: What did you learn in your years at HBO

about the importance of original productions? ALBRECHT: Original productions were a key

contributor to HBO’s success, but when we started offering them we were among the first nonbroadcast channels to do so, which is certainly not the case now, when numerous channels schedule original programming. So at Starz,we’re exploring a variety of options;original programs will certainly be part of the mix, although they’re not the only choice. What matters is standing out from the competition. At one point, you could do that with original series. Starz, for its part, has had years of strong subscriber growth, due to a great degree to a

lineup of big movies from our studio partners, and from embracing new technologies.We’ve managed to keep up with the changing needs and desires of our subscribers,and so far they’ve rewarded us with their business. WS: What does an original pay-TV series need to have today in order to break out? ALBRECHT: Ever since HBO had its success with originals, every channel realizes that it can potentially break out with original programming. However, each channel

ming is made available than was ever the case previously.The enthusiasm our subscribers showed toward our efforts in on-demand programming and in particular our leadership role in introducing HD on-demand proved that. Our objective now, therefore, is to give viewers choices among different programming delivery services, choices in the kinds of movies we offer, variety in the content we provide to our subscribers. That’s even more the case for us at a market like MIPTV, where we’re dealing

“Our efforts...include embracing a whole range of new technologies, giving our customers hit movies in HD, on-demand and via broadband.” needs to define itself independently and not by what others are doing. At HBO we learned that success breeds confidence and more success. At Starz, Spartacus: Blood and Sand and Party Down are important because they represent the right ideas and the right execution—things we can build on.

with a global audience. Our offering includes our original programs, of course, but also a slate of series, movies and miniseries that we’ve either produced for other networks or acquired for the international marketplace. Audiences everywhere want choices, and we’re giving that to them.

WS: How important are on-demand offer-

WS: What appetite do Starz customers have for original productions? ALBRECHT: Customers expect value and choice from their premium services, and we work hard to deliver that. The success we’ve had so far with Spartacus: Blood and Sand reinforces our belief that there is still room for original programming that’s truly original.That doesn’t mean, however, that we’ll fill our airwaves with more CG-driven historical action series. Starz has had a luxury that not all channels have had: the move into originals was made by choice, not necessity. Our 16 Starz and Encore channels in the U.S. are filled with feature films that satisfy the demands of a very diverse subscriber base, so we’re free to only order programs that we like or that serve a particular strategic need. Now, I’m a firm believer in original content, and we’ll be providing plenty more for our subscribers, but I also think they’ll be surprised by what we come up with next.

ings in boosting the popularity of original productions on a pay service? ALBRECHT: For Starz, on-demand has been very important. But our efforts also include embracing a whole range of new technologies, giving our customers hit movies in HD, on-demand and via broadband services. Back in 2004, Starz was the first to offer online subscription movie services, an offering the company has been tweaking ever since. And now we’re using that knowledge to work with our distribution partners in the U.S. to deliver programming to millions of consumers via broadband channels.We have also begun initiatives in online distribution of our proprietary programming around the world. WS: How important is on-demand nowadays for a pay-TV service? ALBRECHT: TV audiences increasingly insist on having far more control over how, when and in what form their program102

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Ken Lowe CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT AND CEO, SCRIPPS NETWORKS INTERACTIVE Since launching HGTV in 1994, Scripps Networks has become the leading developer of lifestyle content, producing popular programming for television, online, satellite radio, print and new-media platforms. One of the keys to Scripps’ success, as Ken Lowe explains, is the fierce loyalty its channels—from Food Network to HGTV, DIY Network to Cooking Channel and Travel Channel—engender in viewers.

WS: Watching “wherever and whenever” is

becoming increasingly popular with viewers. What is Scripps doing to satisfy that desire? LOWE: We are very well suited for the future.We were one of the first cable networks that made VOD deals and that was due to the fact that we own more than 95 percent of all our content. As a matter of fact, we have one of the largest nonfiction video-content libraries in the world.That’s been really our goal from day one, to build and own our content in these very vibrant categories of home, food and now travel.We

were also one of the earliest providers of online video content. If you go to any one of our websites now, you’ll see our vision, which is to be the main content provider in the food, home and travel categories. We’ve been very careful to protect the value of our content.That is critical at all levels. Cable network programmers like us have real issues with distributors that put so much content online and that is a real battle right now.Whether it’s Disney or whomever, the issues are: how much content they will move

for viewers, which seems tailor-made for on demand. LOWE: Very much so. And regarding the takeaway value of our information, and in particular, the “wherever, whenever” viewing mentality, we’ve always felt that our content engages audiences in a unique way. For example, we pioneered several years ago a study with Simmons on audience engagement.That study showed, and has continued to show, that our audiences are highly engaged. Simply put, if you are watching a

“We were one of the first cable networks that made VOD deals...due to the fact that we own more than 95 percent of our content.” off their cable networks and put online, how much they are allowed to move and what does that do to strain the relationship between the content provider and our distribution partners? We’re working with distributors and some of our new agreements, the ones with Time Warner and Comcast come to mind, involve the TV Everywhere model [which provides authentication: if you already pay a cable subscription, you have the right to access that cable content online]. This is just one person’s opinion, but I think the Comcast-NBC Universal merger could actually advance TV Everywhere on a faster timetable because there you have a large content provider and a large distributor. So if the TV Everywhere model is going to start taking off, I would suspect we’d see it there, although other distributors are moving aggressively in that area as well and we are in discussions with them.We really share a common goal with our content distributors of protecting this model. We’ve seen what happened to the music industry and it’s important that we move with some caution and with some mutual understanding [between cable programmers and distribution platforms] that protects the model for long term. WS: The programming your channels offer provides a lot of “takeaway” information 104

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show about remodeling your bathroom and you happen to be interested in remodeling your bathroom, that show offers more than just entertainment value, it provides information value. For example, if you see a commercial in that show for Delta faucets, or Kohler sinks, it’s no longer a “commercial,” it’s a piece of information.We’ve also been very careful not to do product placement.A lot of people look at us and say, “You are a natural for product placement.”The challenge with that is to separate church and state.When we founded our networks we were very conscious of separating our content from our commercials and not blurring the line. People don’t tune in to have a host talk about a particular brand of dishwasher or any other product because it’s our opinion that the consumer should make his or her own decision about that.We should give them the information that leads them to a buying opportunity.To be overly simplistic, we produce content that really rings the cash register. We know that people watch, they become engaged and then they go buy. What technology is going to allow us to do over the coming years is to shrink that line, and people will be doing more on an interactive basis with set-top boxes, where they can click and get more information right from the screen.That’s going to happen in a big way. You can’t get out of the way of it


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What Would Brian Boitano Make? on Food Network.

and we just have to understand that interactivity is a huge part of all of our futures.

I don’t think TV viewership will start to dwindle anytime soon. I really don’t. And one of the things we are seeing is a lot of smart reinvention of content. For a while broadcast television had decided it would not compete with cable. But if you look at ABC’s lineup of comedy shows, if you look at some of the smarter things CBS has done scheduling CSI, or NBC with Law & Order or with realitybased series, they air these shows on the broadcast network and then cascade them down to their other properties—on cable, online and on mobile. We are going to have TV viewing for a long time, but it’s going to be up to the content providers to figure out: does the viewing start here and cascade to the other platforms? And will there be separate content on these other platforms?

WS: A lot of TV executives feel linear chan-

WS: What plans do you have for the Travel

nels may lose their relevance as people increasingly find whatever they want to watch online. LOWE: Research shows that people are watching more television than ever.Obviously,viewing habits have changed and cable has had a very big impact on broadcast television, but even younger demos are watching a lot of television.We’re seeing proof of that on the Food Network. Now having said that, there is no question that viewing habits will change.We will always have a fragmented media society and we just have to be cognizant of that. But we think that the Internet and mobile platforms, if anything, are additive. It’s really up to us to figure out how to take these incredible platforms and use them to cross promote, help people to get to other areas that they are going to go to anyway, and use our content in new and different ways with shorter-form video clips, especially on mobile platforms.

Channel? LOWE: With the Travel Channel we see an

enormous opportunity. It gives us another category beyond food and shelter. It’s a nonfiction category that we have longed for. Last year was the Travel Channel’s most successful ratings year in its history. In addition, they lowered the median age of the channel by over five years. We’ll begin to take the Travel Channel content, like we have our other cable channels—HGTV and Food Network primarily— and move it beyond just the TV dial into consumer branding and marketing areas. We do a lot of promotion around our brands and we think that can enhance the Travel Channel.We have been very successful at using the on-air promotion on all our channels and cross-promoting and building viewership on the others.We have our plate full but we are very excited about the 106

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future of the Travel Channel and, of course, it offers some international opportunities for us as well. WS: Speaking of international, you have stepped up expansion lately.What has been the strategy? LOWE: First and foremost, hiring Greg Moyer [as the president of Scripps Networks International] was just a bull’s eye for us. If you look at Greg’s vast experience, it’s hard not to give him his due for what he contributed to Discovery, and Discovery quite admirably has done an incredible job building up its international distribution. Greg is refocusing our international efforts [by switching from] a syndication model where we were selling quite a bit of our programming to more of a branded-channel strategy. Greg is doing a fantastic job and we have been very encouraged by our first launches. The Food Network U.K. is a great success early on.We’ve also announced a deal with NDTV and the Good Times channel in India and we’re very excited about it. As I mentioned earlier, if you look at our library, it’s just rich with content we think can either be exported or merged with content on the ground in other countries. We will continue with some of our syndication, you’ll be seeing that at MIPTV, but it will be more hit-show driven as opposed to syndicating the entire library. We’ll be making better use of the library for our branded channels. We believe we have an opportunity to make all our brands, which are associated in the categories of home, food and travel, stand-alone channels anywhere in the world. It will primarily be through partnerships because we feel partnerships work best with folks on the ground that know the country, know the culture.And lastly, we are going to be very patient.This is a business model that we’ve invested a lot in over time. We know it can’t happen overnight and so we are willing to adequately fund it, put capital in, have a great management team led by Greg and then kind of sit back and watch it grow.The one thing that having HGTV has taught me over the years is that even though we live in [a fast-paced world], to grow a rose takes some time and yet you end up with a thing of beauty at some point.We think long term our opportunity for international growth is just tremendous, but we’ll have to be a little patient.


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Erik Huggers DIRECTOR OF FUTURE MEDIA & TECHNOLOGY, BBC A leader in catch-up TV, BBC’s iPlayer allows viewers in the U.K. to find and play programs from the past seven days and watch them online. And this is not merely a selection of BBC shows—it is nearly the entire television and radio output of the British public broadcaster. Viewer response to the service, Erik Huggers explains, has been equally massive.

WS: How did the idea to offer programs online come about? HUGGERS: BBC has been on the Internet since 1994.This organization is always trying to be at the forefront of where technology meets great storytelling that informs, educates and entertains. If you look at the history of the BBC, in the 1920s the very first director general was actually an engineer, Lord John Reith. He built out a nationwide analogue radio network, that’s what he cared about. He wanted to have a way to inform, educate and entertain the masses and he started with the technology that was avail-

able at that point, which was radio. In the following 88 years, our research and development arm has always been at the forefront of technology, with inventions like NICAM stereo sound, teletext and digital radio. It’s always been the marriage on one end of technology and distribution capability and, on the other hand, fantastic content. The BBC was already on the Internet back in 1994, which for a broadcaster was really early. The idea of starting to timeshift and place-shift our programs was

So while on the surface the proposition may look like it’s a bit simple, the truth is, in January of this year we delivered 120 million videos to the U.K. market alone and that is a country with only 60 million inhabitants and only 65 percent of them are online.The average consumption time is 24 minutes per session for video, and 186 minutes for radio per session. WS: What contributed to making iPlayer

so successful?

“The whole concept is, if you’ve missed it...there is a very high chance that you have access to all that content at your fingertips.” actually born many years ago. I remember it was called Interactive Media Player (IMP) when they tried out the concept. Once that was tested and they knew that consumers were interested in it, I was hired.The main thing I was brought in for—this was three years ago—was to actually deliver on the concept, because it’s one thing to have fantastic creative ideas, and it’s a whole different thing to actually execute against them. WS: What was iPlayer like in its early development stages? HUGGERS: There were some pretty key decisions that we took very early on that led to its success.The original idea for iPlayer was that it was going to be a Windowscomputer-only, peer-to-peer, downloadonly thing. One of the first decisions I made was that the IMP would have to be available across as many platforms as possible, that it wasn’t about peer-to-peer and downloading. Instead, it was about streaming and instant gratification, and it had to be really strongly branded, tying in nicely to all the linear capability that we have in reaching consumers and educating them around this functionality. Just bringing it back to principles of making this service incredibly simple, but at the same time incredibly useful, guided a lot of our decision making. 108

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HUGGERS: What I think contributed

greatly is the clarity of the proposition. If you compare it to Hulu, for example, iPlayer is actually very dissimilar.With iPlayer we have an ambition for everything that the BBC transmits on its linear portfolio— everything across eight national networks of television, ten national networks of radio and [more than 40] local radio networks— [to be] available online for seven days after it was transmitted. So the proposition is simple: if you missed it, you will find it on iPlayer.Whereas with things like Hulu, and other similar sites, if you’ve missed it, there might be a chance that you can catch up with it. And so we went all the way with all the rights holders, we went all the way in making sure that there was parity between our transmission schedules and what was available on iPlayer. Number two was the whole idea of getting it on to as many devices as possible. iPlayer is now available on Windows, Macintosh, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation3, on the main cable MSOs, it’s available on about 20 different devices. So the whole concept is, if you’ve missed it, no matter what you use, no matter where you are, there is a very high chance that you have access to all that content at your fingertips, on whatever platform you happen to use. So we have a complete platform-neutral approach.


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Just to give an idea of the volume of content, every week we tip in a little over 400 hours of fresh video and a little over 2,000 hours of fresh radio content. So the sheer volume of the operation is not to be underestimated. The final thought is, on all our linear channels and radio stations, there is a consistent call to action to our audiences, “If you’ve missed this, you can watch it on iPlayer.” So the calls to action that we have in our traditional linear television and radio domain are well coordinated and well set up to constantly remind people that the service is there for them. WS: There is a feeling among many in the TV business that linear channels will lose their relevance as people increasingly watch programming on demand. Does iPlayer provide additive viewing or does it take viewing away from your linear channels? HUGGERS: We are probably one of the only organizations on the planet that has this sort of linear capability as well as an on-demand capability that is successful. So I think we are in a good position to provide some input. My view is that it has been complementary so far.We see that when prime-time viewing tapers off in the linear world, it keeps going another hour in the on-demand world.That is actually quite interesting.There are certain areas, particularly with younger viewers, not surprisingly, where they seem to have an affinity with the on-demand

world that is far greater than older generations have. So if you look at the total number of viewers of a linear show, including the first transmission and repeats over a period of time, and you add to that the total number of on-demand viewings, for example for a show like EastEnders, the on-demand world is only a very, very small proportion of that universe. But if you look at a children’s program, there is one called M.I. High, online viewing is close to one-fifth of the total viewership. WS: Are there certain genres—factual or

entertainment or children’s—that are getting more play on iPlayer? HUGGERS: The big hits on linear television and linear radio are the big hits in the on-demand space.What is interesting is that certain categories that in the linear world we consider as more niche seem to be punching above their weight online. In particular these are programs that are on BBC Three and BBC Four channels. BBC Three links into what we just said, it skews much younger. BBC Four, on the other hand, is more about documentaries, history and knowledge. WS: Tell us about Project Canvas. HUGGERS: Project Canvas is a partner-

ship between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, BT and TalkTalk Group—the key free-to-air broadcasters and the key broadband ISPs. 110

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Our common goal as the shareholders of this new venture, which still requires final approval from the BBC Trust—we have interim approval—is to create an openstandard-spaced, next-generation television platform, that manages to bring the best of linear television and radio together with the best of what the Internet has to offer, all wrapped up in a single easy-to-use user experience. And so the logical extension is that the on-demand services from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and others, are going to be made available through that platform right to the living room via your broadband connection. But it’s more than that. It’s not just on-demand as a single application. We believe that the iPhone led the way in other sorts of applications that have taken off tremendously.We have had interesting calls from organizations like the NHS [National Health Service], Tesco and many others, including small start-ups and newspapers, who want to build applications specifically for the Canvas platform and deliver new services into the living room. Project Canvas looks very promising; this has the potential, once and for all, to democratize access to the living room. In the past you needed to either own spectrum or be very wealthy, from a capital perspective, in order to build out cable or satellite networks.The beautiful thing of the Internet is it’s there and you can deliver all sorts of content through it. WS: There are exciting times, aren’t they? HUGGERS: Yes. The Chinese say, “May

you live in interesting times,” and I do believe that we are at an inflection point for the industry, not just for how consumers interact, find, play and share media in the living room, but also on the go, in schools and at work. WS: And with the wealth of content that

the BBC produces, all of this offers wonderful possibilities. HUGGERS: Correct, and one of the things my division is responsible for is managing the BBC Archive. We have 88 years of cultural heritage stored on 60 miles of shelf space in a big old fridge. So we have some serious plans that you’ll hear more about very soon, about how we are going to go about unlocking that national cultural heritage captured in audio, video, images, letters, sheet music, the list goes on—it’s quite astonishing.


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Derek Harrar SENIOR VP AND GENERAL MANAGER OF VIDEO SERVICES, COMCAST CABLE The best way to describe how well the Comcast On Demand service on TV has been received by its 18 million customers is to offer a few figures. With 150 million hours of programming available, it gets 350 million views a month. That’s 20 views per home on average each month, and Derek Harrar explains what fuels such success.

WS: Why was offering free on-demand

scription that was available at no additional charge.We probably were the first, or among the first, to buy libraries of films and put them on demand at no additional charge. Free movies, still to this day, is one of the highest usage categories on demand. We thought that the free offering was really strategic to adopting a new way of interacting with your TV.

important? HARRAR: If you think about the time

WS: What do your subscribers enjoy most

frame, it was 2003.The Internet existed and was relatively mature. People were used to having an awful lot of content they could interact with but not necessarily having it show up on their bill. Strategically, in order to offer this new platform and really train consumers to do something that they had never really done before—in other words, interact with their TV—we felt that having price sit between every single interaction would be a bottleneck to adoption.We had a bunch of content which wasn’t even sub-

on demand?

Goodfellas.We got them all in standard-def and hi-def. All of it was transactional at a library film rate, more like $3, instead of $5. We put them all together, did a whole bunch of press around the stunt, calling it Gangster Films, to make it fun and exciting. We’ve steadily grown that business since we started it in early 2008. Last year we did more than 100 movie collections. The film category is the most viewed and yet it’s still probably only 20 percent of the usage of the platform. In fact, the transac-

“Our research shows that DVR users, believe it or not, actually over-index on video-ondemand usage.” HARRAR: The highest usage category is

movies. That’s movies across three areas. There are the new releases—the transactional movies—many of which are offered the same day and date as the DVD release.There are also the movies that are available within HBO, Showtime, Starz—the subscription VOD movies. Then there are the free movies, where we offer a library of free films. So if you add those three types of movies, they make up the top usage category within our on-demand offering. It’s been interesting to watch the usage patterns over the years. In the beginning it was young male-dominated action films. Now, we see romantic comedies performing extremely well.When you look at our library films, the highest performing movie collections are always children’s transactional movies.What that means is, you’ve really seen the usage of the platform, across the board but even just in movies, migrate from one user in the home to multiple users in the home to real family usage.Which is a great trend. It’s very sticky. WS: Tell us about your movie collections—

they are very popular, aren’t they? HARRAR: For example, when American

Gangster came into the VOD rental window, we went back to the studios, and we located all three of The Godfather movies; A Bronx Tale; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Scarface; 112

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tional movies make up only 6 or 7 percent of usage. When you’re talking about 350 million views a month, 140 views per second, it’s still pretty small. WS: After movies what is the second-most-

watched genre? HARRAR: The next-highest-usage category

within on-demand is TV shows.This is the fastest-growing usage category.We have over 250 TV series, with about four or five episodes each, so over 1,000 episodes of TV shows.This range includes ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, to HBO, Starz, and cable channels like A&E,AMC, Bravo, Discovery, E!, FX, MTV, Lifetime.What is really interesting is that our research shows that DVR users, believe it or not, actually over-index on video-ondemand usage.The reason is that the average DVR user is kind of a time-shifting connoisseur.They usually tend to run their DVRs roughly full, which means they’re actively managing the content that’s on their DVRs. As we shift more and more content into the high-def realm, these viewers can record fewer and fewer shows on their DVRs because of the storage requirements for high-def. So as people realize that, they think, why am I recording Dexter in high-def on my DVR when I know it’s going to be available the next day on demand anyway? So on-demand makes the DVR experience better for the


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then uses it to build their subscription base inside a Comcast footprint. So we do all kinds of interesting things on the advertising side as well as the promotion side.

E!’s Keeping Up with the Kardashians on Comcast On Demand.

DVR user, but then, importantly, it actually provides a time-shifting experience at no additional charge for our customers that don’t have DVRs. The next-highest-usage category is kids’ shows.We probably do about 40 to 50 million views a month of children’s shows.The fact that we have over 1,000 kids’ episodes available on demand at any given time is a great service for families. Finally, within On Demand we have more than 17,000 titles every month. It tends to work out that about 97 percent of them are watched.We’ve got about 18 million customers. We do about 350 million views a month.That’s 20 views per home on average each month. So Comcast On Demand is enormous—150 million hours a month of programming is available. WS: Do the TV episodes that you put on demand have the same commercial load as when they air on linear channels? HARRAR: It depends.The advertising model across VOD is still pretty broad. Some networks give us shows with literally zero ads.

Some give us shows that will start with, “This episode is brought to you by” and have a couple of spots but all from the same sponsor.They’ll have a lighter load like the episodes you find on the Internet. Then there are other episodes that are going for C3 ratings, and they’re the exact same ad load as they have on linear channels. Other episodes use the commercial load to promote themselves.You might have MTV put spots inside of aVH1 show that cross-promotes a new series coming out on MTV.We really work very closely with our content partners. We’ve gotten very good at using on-demand as a promotional platform for them. Another really good example is Showtime.We always have great catch-up stunts whenever the next season of Dexter or Weeds is coming out.We’ll put the previous season on demand and make it available to all of our customers—whether you’re a Showtime customer or not—and we’ll tag it with a Showtime upgrade offer in partnership with Showtime to say,“If you like Dexter, the next season is coming up, so subscribe to Showtime now and here’s a great offer.” Showtime 114

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WS: Do you pay programmers extra to be able to offer episodes on demand? HARRAR: Every deal with every programmer is highly complex, and has multiple layers. We view VOD as a platform in which we work very aggressively with all of our program partners to extend their franchise and achieve whatever their objectives are. For a given show, if a network is looking for higher ratings, we can figure out interesting ways to use video on demand as a promotional platform to drive ratings. If they’re looking for promotion and creating a buzz for the launch of a new series, maybe they’ll premiere that show on demand even before it shows up on linear.We’ll promote it across all of the Comcast platforms to really help drive the buzz associated with that series.Then, three or four episodes into the series, that’s when the network is really looking for ratings, so we’ll have a different strategy for on-demand. We really look at on-demand as a mechanism to extend a franchise.A great example of that is Mad Men. Mad Men became popular well into the first season. It was a highly critically acclaimed show but many people didn’t know about it.We had Mad Men on demand ever since it launched.You could go into ondemand and catch up on the series and then you’d be much more likely to actually watch it in linear. As a result, we can show that we had higher linear ratings inside our footprint than outside our footprint because of how we featured Mad Men on-demand. WS: Where do you see the on-demand trend going? And how is Comcast going to anticipate what viewers expect from an ondemand service? HARRAR: The great thing about on demand is that we actually know what viewers are watching.We have our finger on the pulse of pop culture.We can really tune the offering to exactly what our customers are looking for very well. We get a lot of feedback that way. In 2008 we announced Project Infinity, a vision to give consumers the ability to watch any movie, television show, user-generated content or other video that a producer wants to make available on demand.We think that over time that will be available more and more on any screen.That’s where we’re headed.


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one on one ews Corporation, arguably the most international of the media conglomerates, has businesses spanning the globe, with pay-TV platforms in Europe, Latin America and Asia; a bouquet of 183 international channels broadcasting in 166 television markets; broadcast and cable TV networks in the U.S.; a major Hollywood studio; Internet sites; newspapers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia; and one of the world’s leading English-language book publishers. This content-production-and-distribution prowess helped News Corp. buck the economic downturn and post impressive financial results during the last three months of 2009, a year hammered by the worst global recession in decades. In the second quarter, in fact, the company’s total revenue increased by 10 percent to reach $8.7 billion. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, revenues amounted to some $30 billion. The underpinnings of this strong financial performance are a group of businesses that are diversified both in revenue and geographically, so that when one region, say, Europe, is experiencing a downturn, another, say, Asia, is already recovering. In fact, News Corp.’s healthy mix of advertiser-supported and subscription-based businesses have helped offset the global advertising slump. Running the empire Rupert Murdoch built requires an executive who has had experience managing international businesses, and Chase Carey, the deputy chairman, president and COO of News Corp., has that experience. He took over from Peter Chernin in July of last year, and prior to that he had been at the helm of The DIRECTV Group. Before joining DIRECTV, Carey

had done his first stint at News Corp., where he had had a particular focus on the worldwide television business, including the FOX network, FOX Television Stations, the cable programming group, and News Corp.’s international satellite operations. Today, Carey oversees a major media company that has had numerous successes across its various divisions. Twentieth Century Fox now boasts the two highest-grossing movies in the history of film, both from director James Cameron: first Titanic and more recently Avatar, which to date has garnered more than $2 billion worldwide and whose 3-D technology may well have opened a new era in filmmaking. While Twentieth Century Fox pursues blockbuster status with Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief— to the delight of young viewers who have become addicted to the book series that spawned the film— and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which brings back to the screen the greedy Gordon Gekko made popular in the 1987 movie by Michael Douglas, Fox Searchlight Pictures caters to niche audiences with (500) Days of Summer and Crazy Heart. Twentieth Century Fox Television continues to churn out hit series, from the extremely successful The Simpsons and 24 to the new series Glee and Modern Family. Fox Television Studios has found innovative financing formulas that have yielded hits including Burn Notice. In the cable business, FOX News Channel achieved its highest-ever quarterly profit and increased its operating income by 51 percent, while attracting more viewers in the U.S. than all the other news channels combined. Among News Corp.’s satellite businesses, BSkyB in the U.K. remains the leading pay-TV platform in Europe with nearly 10 million subscribers, while SKY Italia has surpassed 4 million and Sky Deutschland is being revamped to better address the needs of German viewers. And News Corp. has been fully invested in new-media platforms, with MySpace and a stake in Hulu, the online video site, which is a joint venture with NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners. Carey talks to World Screen about adapting traditional media assets in order to remain at the forefront of the digital world.

Chase Carey News Corporation

WS: News Corporation recently

reported very favorable financial results. What drove those revenues and profits? CAREY: If there is one overall theme it would be strength in content—film, TV, sports, news—and the cablechannels group was a driving force in both the U.S. and internationally. And in key businesses we continue to take market share: the FOX television stations had record shares in several markets, and FOX News is clearly taking share. And we certainly also made 4/10

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some headway on the cost side: the stations have really taken some real costs out of their business; so have the newspapers. So it starts with great strength in content across the board, driving that content through channels and making sure we focus on operating our businesses efficiently and taking advantage of our opportunities around the world to maximize profits. WS: News Corp. is known for being the

most entrepreneurial of the major media


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one on one WS: What was News Corp.’s goal

in the retransmission deal with Time Warner, and why was it important that you close that deal? CAREY: As our broadcast business competes with cable for content and for viewers, we need a revenue stream that enables us to continue to invest in the type of content that makes FOX what it is—the best event television out there, with American Idol, 24, the NFL, the World Series and other great events. But we’ve got to be able to build a revenue model that lets us continue to invest in those types of programming. It was critically important for us to move to a place where we have a business model that competes effectively with the cable universe. Showstoppers: Glee has been a breakout hit on FOX, delivering audiences, generating buzz, creating ancillary revenues through CD sales and live events, and picking up a Golden Globe for best musical or comedy TV series.

companies. How do you create this kind of mind-set? CAREY: News Corp. is a company that is driven by operating executives and pushes them to manage with a sense of responsibility and ownership for their businesses. It is not a company that relies on corporate infrastructures or bureaucracies, but one that is streamlined, encourages intelligent risk-taking, is not afraid to break the mold, will not continue to fall back on old habits,but is willing to take advantage of opportunities as they emerge. But I think part of it is having great operating managers and encouraging them to run their businesses aggressively and opportunistically. Fortunately, we have a great set of managers to do that.

move to cable channels. Certainly, cable channels are more aggressive in original programming. Broadcast channels are competing with them and competing with a singlerevenue business against a dualrevenue business. It’s like competing with one hand tied behind your back. Clearly the dual-revenue stream provides a much stronger

revenue base and a much more stable one.The subscription side of the business has much more longterm predictability to it as opposed to the volatility, as the last year proved, that can exist in the ad markets, not to mention the challenges of audience fragmentation we will continue to see going forward.

WS: Peter Rice is now in charge of

both FOX Broadcasting and the FX networks. What can the broadcast network learn from cable about how shows are promoted and developed? And FoxTelevision Studios has some very interesting formulas for keeping costs down and getting a lot of quality on the screen. CAREY: That’s right. I would actually say we hope that both of those businesses learn from each other, not just the network from cable, but

WS: Is the cable model of a dual-

revenue stream better suited than broadcasting in today’s media environment of fragmenting audiences and declining advertising? CAREY: Without question. In many ways broadcasting competes more and more head-to-head with cable channels for content and for audiences.We’ve seen some content like major sporting events already

The sky’s the limit: News Corporation now owns close to 50 percent of Sky Deutschland and is working to turn the platform around following its troubles as Premiere. 172

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Changing the face of movies: Years in the making, James Cameron’s Avatar is revolutionizing the film industry, eclipsing Titanic to set a worldwide box-office record and leading the way in the lucrative 3-D movie market.

cable can learn certain things from the network.Clearly those businesses have grown with different practices. Whether it’s the network with its historical practices of pilots and sweeps and launching all shows at certain points in the year and having certain patterns in terms of when originals or reruns air.And cable has operated in a different way and has promoted shows and launched them in different ways. I think they can learn from each other. Equally importantly, both those businesses are going to go through changes that are driven as much as anything by the digital revolution, such as changes in windows and in how consumers access shows.We have to be opportunistic and smart about picking the best of both, developing those businesses and maximizing the value of our content across multiple platforms in ways that benefit both us and our viewers. WS: FOX News has certainly been

a success story and is getting more viewers than the other news channels combined.How do you account for this growth? CAREY: You have to give Roger Ailes great credit. He has created a

channel that has great energy and great quality. He identified a major segment of the marketplace that was underserved and has built a channel that serves that segment. He continues to find ways to energize the channel, refresh it, keep it lively, interesting and exciting, and the ratings success is a testament to that. WS: Does Avatar show the way to a new model in which studios might not have to pay huge sums of money for actors? CAREY: No, I don’t think so.Talent is always the heart of our business. Avatar really is a testament to great filmmaking, great storytelling, and to the great talent of James Cameron. It’s a wonderful film and we are incredibly proud of it. WS: Do you think 3-D will work

on TV? CAREY: Yes. I think initially it will

be more of an event-focused type of experience. I suppose in day-in-andday-out regular television habits, 3-D’s initial focus will be sporting events, movies and a certain type of product to which it adds a particularly exciting dimension.Technology probably has to get to a place where 4/10

you don’t have to put on glasses so that it becomes a more everyday experience. But I think 3-D will clearly be a major force in television as we go forward. WS: Fox Searchlight does some amazing gems of films. CAREY: That they do. WS: What’s the role of the art-house

label within the studio system? CAREY: It’s a very important part

of our business. At Fox, and this is true of television as well as film, we think it’s important to have multiple production operations that approach their businesses with different perspectives, different objectives and different viewpoints. Content creation is not an assemblyline business, it’s really a business based on talented management making intelligent judgments and taking intelligent risks. Having Fox Searchlight brings a unique perspective that is clearly different from Fox mainstream, just as you mentioned before [that] Fox TV Studios brings a different perspective to the television creative process than Twentieth Century Fox Television does. I think it’s a

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great strength of ours to have these different operations approaching those businesses with different perspectives, and we are fortunate to have great management running each of them. WS: And it certainly shows that a company as large as Twentieth Century Fox can accommodate large franchises but also those small films based on original stories. There is room for both. CAREY: There is a real audience there, and it is important to recognize that we are not in a business where one size fits all. Certainly movies like Slumdog Millionaire or Crazy Heart speak to the opportunities in the market. It’s one of the great things about content, it’s not a formula business; you can’t run it by formulas.You’ve got to run it by making judgments and having quality people who can make those judgments and have the vision to see those opportunities. WS: Twentieth Century Fox has had considerable success with a number of TV shows recently. Even though much of what determines the success of a network


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one on one stand that process.You are right it’s not formulas, it’s people making intelligent judgments and relating to people, understanding product, understanding the dynamics that go into putting together the right elements Traditional bonds: India is among News Corporation’s key international markets, to create a show like Modern where STAR Plus is driving ratings with local-language fare such as Behenein. Family. And hand in hand with that is also a willingness to take isn’t just a recut version of something WS: Do you still see lot of growth an intelligent risk and not being else that is on the air and is successful. potential internationally? Is that a afraid to break traditional models. driving force for the company? And Glee is a testament to that, of a WS: Despite the bad economy, CAREY: Oh, for sure, we truly willingness to try to do a show that Fox’s international channels grew believe we are the most global substantially in 2009—what has amongst the major companies we driven that growth? compete with. In many ways I think News Corporation CAREY: They have been a great the growth opportunities outside success and they have more growth the U.S. will exceed those inside the Fiscal 2009 Revenues: $30.4 billion ahead of them than behind them. U.S. The obvious reasons simply We are tremendously excited and being that there is so much growth Filmed Entertainment The company’s motion-picture and television-programming division encomthere are two driving forces. One is yet to happen overseas, whereas the passes Twentieth Century Fox Film, which this year released the box-office we are a global company and have U.S. is more mature in areas like smash Avatar; Twentieth Century Fox Television, behind such hits as Glee; been at the forefront of creating a subscription television. We think Fox Television Studios, the group behind Burn Notice; and Fox Searchlight real leadership position in building there are great opportunities and we Pictures, whose recent releases include (500) Days of Summer. these channels around the world will continue to be aggressive and and maximizing the value of our opportunistic around the world in Television News Corp.’s television operations are led by the flagship FOX Broadcasting brands like Fox and National Geo- places where we can build businesses. Company, which is continuing its ratings dominance among the 18-to-49 graphic, as well as the content we set. This segment also includes the 27 stations in the FOX Television own. The second factor that has WS: About 10, 15 years ago everyStations group. benefitted, and will continue to body was saying it’s not only imporCable Network Programming benefit us, is that we are still in early tant to own and control your content, News Corp. operates a portfolio of very successful U.S. cable networks, led by stages of the growth of subscription but you have to have the distribution the FOX News Channel, FX and Fox Soccer Channel. The segment’s operations television around the world. In pipes as well. Let’s fast-forward to the also include the Fox International Channels, which continue to roll out globally, developed markets, such as Italy, pay digital world of today, how important as well as the STAR businesses in India and Greater China and the National TV is at only 30-percent penetra- is it to own platforms if content is Geographic Channel in the U.S. and around the world. tion, and in more emerging markets king, and, as Mr. Murdoch recently Direct Broadcast Satellite Television like Asia or Latin America there is said, content is “emperor”! News Corp. wholly owns SKY Italia, which has more than 4 million subenormous growth left.The manageCAREY: [Laughs] That is right! I scribers, and has stakes in BSkyB in the U.K., Sky Deutschland, FOXTEL ment of that group has done a great think our general view on this is that in Australia and India’s Tata SKY. job at building channels that are we are first and foremost a content leaders in their markets. Integrated Marketing Services company, and that is the heart of News America Marketing delivers brand messages to more than 200 milwhat we do and where News Corp.’s lion shoppers through its portfolio of consumer-marketing services. WS: And that statement is valid for strengths originate.We equally recyour platforms in Europe and Asia Newspapers & Information Services ognize that where we are able to add This segment includes The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, as well as and Latin America—you see growth any distribution component to that News International, which publishes four national newspapers in the U.K.; opportunities there as well? content, there are real synergies News Limited, behind a slate of newspapers in Australia; and the New York CAREY: For sure.Take Italy as an between distribution and content. I Post in the U.S. example, it’s a market that has certainly agree that content is king Books enormous growth left in it. The or emperor, but equally, it has been HarperCollins is one of the world’s leading book publishers, with groups in platform in Germany is in its tremendously important and advanthe U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand and India. infancy in terms of us building it to tageous for us to align content and Other Assets what it can be. And India, even distribution where we can. It does The company owns MySpace, a lifestyle and social-networking site, and more so, has probably a longerbecome a win-win situation and other new-media properties under its Digital Media Group. It also has term growth curve, but enormous makes both of them stronger, more stakes in Hulu and NDS Group. This segment also includes News Outdoor, potential as we grow the satellite attractive and interesting content the leading out-of-home advertising company. platform there. experiences for our customers.

series is more akin to alchemy than to cut-and-dried formulas, what do these successes say of Fox and its relationships with talent and the production community? CAREY: I agree with your statement wholeheartedly. Success is about having great management that understands the creative process, understands talent and is able to put together projects like Modern Family. The continued success of our management, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, has proven a unique capability to really under-

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on the record ith 45 TV channels and 31 radio stations in 11 countries, the RTL Group is Europe’s largest broadcaster. Every day, more than 200 million viewers across the continent watch RTL stations. The key to the company’s success—even during 2009, the “annus horribilis” in broadcasting, when the worst economic recession in decades hammered advertisingsupported businesses—has been RTL’s family-of-channels concept. The idea is simple and effective: establish a flagship station in a market—RTL Television in Germany, M6 in France, RTL 4 in the Netherlands, RTL-TVI in Belgium, and Five in the U.K.—and then develop a group of secondary digital channels around them. These include W9 in France; Five USA and Fiver in the U.K.; and Passion, RTL Crime and RTL Living in Germany. Each of them has developed a loyal viewership, which helps drive advertising and increase the group’s market share in each of the countries in which it operates. The group also has broadcasting operations in Hungary (RTL Klub), Russia (Ren TV), Croatia (RTL Televizija) and Greece (Alpha TV). In addition to its broadcasting expertise, the RTL

Group owns a content-producing powerhouse, FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of entertainment brands in the world, including Idols, Got Talent, The X Factor and Hole in the Wall. FremantleMedia’s formats give life to the top-rated entertainment shows in the U.K., Europe, the U.S. and more than 40 countries around the globe. It has production operations in some 22 countries, with more than 320 titles in production at any one time. Every year FremantleMedia’s various companies deliver nearly 10,000 hours of original programming to broadcasters. And they directly distribute and license more than 20,000 hours of top-class entertainment to some 150 countries. As CEO of the RTL Group, Gerhard Zeiler oversees both the broadcasting and the content sides. His career in television began in 1986 as secretary-general of the Austrian public broadcaster ORF. After a two-year period as CEO of Tele 5 in Germany and a further two-year period as CEO of RTL II, he returned to ORF as CEO in 1994 and remained there until November 1998. At that time he joined the RTL Group as CEO of RTL Television in Germany. In March 2003 Zeiler was appointed CEO of the RTL Group. Nowadays, he spends much of his time traveling from one of the RTL stations to another. Programming remains his passion and he follows the broadcasting side of the group closely. At the same time, he is focused on diversifying the group’s businesses, improving the non-advertising revenue streams considerably, and also keeping a watchful eye on digital opportunities. The RTL Group’s stations have established very successful catch-up TV offerings as well as social networks and online games. He talks to World Screen about all these businesses and stresses his belief in the resilience of broadcasting.

Gerhard Zeiler RTL Group

WS: What factors helped the RTL

Group pull through last year, which was a rather challenging year, wasn’t it? ZEILER: It was. All broadcasters, not just RTL Group, demonstrated in 2009 that the TV industry is flexible enough to master the challenges of the future. At the beginning of the year we didn’t know how badly the economic downturn would hit us, we only knew it would. So our main goal was to significantly reduce our costs without destroying value, without losing substance and without losing audience share. And that is exactly what we’ve done. RTL Group reduced its operating costs by €371 million in 2009. And despite these significant program-cost savings, RTL Group’s families of channels achieved higher audience shares in 4/10

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almost all countries—in Germany, France, the U.K., Belgium and the Netherlands.That shows that successful TV is not only about money. What counts is creativity, ideas, smart program planning and scheduling.We have the best CEOs and the best program directors, and that helped us get through the year. With a strong year-end finish, RTL Group again achieved good full-year results and continued to operate at high levels of profitability.The net result for RTL Group shareholders even increased 5.7 percent to €205 million. WS: The RTL Group has always been

“lean and mean,” very cost-conscious. Is there anything you learned from last year that you are going to carry into the


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on the record future—best business practices that you are going to maintain? ZEILER: I think the RTL Group’s foremost principle is that we are a very decentralized organization.The more decisions that can be made on the ground, the better. If you really have the right management team, which on the one hand is passionate about the industry and on the other hand is also greatly motivated, they will make the best decisions. How did we manage to reduce costs so massively? Of course there were some overhead cuts, but the biggest cost for a broadcaster are program costs.To have significantly reduced programming costs without losing audience share shows that the RTL Group’s local management teams have the right judgment about where to invest less and where to invest as much as in previous years. I don’t believe in the principle of slashing everything by 10 percent or 15 percent, across the board. In some areas we don’t need to cut at all; in some we put even additional money on the table because that is what we needed. And that is possible only if you have a very decentralized organization run by TV experts. WS: So is the future of free TV in Europe as threatened by fragmenting audiences, declining ad revenues and increasing production costs as it is in the U.S., or in Europe is free TV still a viable business? ZEILER: Not only is free TV a viable business in Europe, but I believe 100 percent in the free-toair industry. The fundamentals of our business remain strong: people are watching more TV than ever before. Not all of them on TV screens, not all of them linear, but they are watching what we as an industry produce. TV is still the best medium for reaching a mass audience, for building brands and promoting new products—especially in the digital-media world with its many distribution channels and small target audiences.

Tearing up the screen: RTL Group owns 100 percent of the British broadcaster Five, which recently refreshed its schedule, launching new original series like Live from Studio Five, an early-evening news-and-entertainment show.

We must, however, face the challenges you mention, and I will list the five key tasks ahead: First, I don’t believe that the broadcasting industry will return to the level of advertising revenues we had in the years 2006 to 2008.We therefore have to continue being

cost-conscious without losing audience share. This includes not allowing production costs to increase as they have in America. Second, we have to make a real business out of the growing nonlinear TV habits of our viewers.The good news is that we can learn a lot from

the U.S. We all know that in the future a significant portion of the time people spend watching TV will be nonlinear. And we have to get the business model right. All the catch-up TV ventures we have built up in Germany, in France, in the Netherlands, in Belgium, in

News-makers: Le 19.45 is a new news show on M6, the French free-to-air broadcaster, which also operates a portfolio of very successful digital channels. 224

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The right answer: RTL Television, which has an entertainment slate that includes the format-based 5 gegen Jauch (5 Against the Quizmaster), remains the number one channel in Germany in its target audience of 14- to 49-year-olds.

Hungary and in the U.K. show there is a huge need for ondemand viewing. RTL Group’s online platforms across Europe collectively registered more than 1 billion video streams, delivering professionally produced content to our viewers—an increase of 49 percent compared to 2008. We can clearly see that we’re building attractive offers for advertising clients. A new study from IP Deutschland, our German sales house, shows that not only do commercial breaks during catch-up programming have a high impact, but they are regarded by viewers as perfectly normal, because they are used to them from traditional TV. Another study shows that...M6 Replay is the best place to advertise on the Internet in France.Thanks to the positive uptake among advertising customers, the platform already broke even in 2009. We will also have to identify which part of our on-demand offer is so exclusive and unique that people would be willing to pay a small amount to watch it: on the computer, on the TV, or on any mobile set where it will be possible.

Third, we need to establish a second revenue stream so that all the platforms—cable, satellite, IPTV— pay for the signal and the content we deliver. It has always been a viable business model in the U.S. It was never one in Europe, and we have to find a way so that the people who base their businesses on our signals pay an appropriate price. We are at the beginning of this process in Europe, but there are early signs that we can establish this second revenue stream. Fourth, we have huge, important and strong channel brands and program brands. Exploiting them better than we have in the past is a priority for the future. Fifth, at least for RTL Group, we must continue to invest further in content, with FremantleMedia and also online. To sum it up: I believe in our industry’s ability to adapt.This ability has always been one of our strengths. If we just do our homework, we will not only weather the current climate of economic doom and gloom, we will also turn the technological changes to our advantage and see a return to growth. 4/10

WS: In the main territories where

the RTL Group operates, what are the major issues affecting the TV industry, and how are the RTL stations performing? ZEILER: Let’s start with Germany. Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland had a very challenging 2009 for several reasons. First, the comparison to 2008 was tough.You may recall that in 2008, RTL in Germany had benefited from ProSiebenSat.1’s less-than-ideal system of selling advertising, and as a result RTL Group’s German family of channels won enormous advertising market share in 2008. Following this exceptional year, competitors were expected to win back some market share during 2009.To make matters worse, the German TV advertising market declined significantly in 2009, by an estimated 8.5 percent.We knew we would have to work hard to prove to advertisers that we had much higher audience appeal than our competitors. The ratings success seen in 2009 was actually phenomenal. Despite significant program-cost savings, the German family of channels significantly increased its already clear

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audience leadership in the key 14-to-49 target group by 1.5 percentage points to 34.4 percent, a new record.This outstanding performance was driven mainly by the flagship channel, RTL Television. For the 17th consecutive year and by a large margin, it was the number one choice among young viewers. RTL Television scored a 16.9-percent audience share in its main target group, achieving the biggest gain recorded by any channel in the reporting period—plus 1.2 percentage points.This was also the channel’s best result since 2003, and put it 5 percentage points ahead of the number two commercial channel, ProSieben. You can see how well positioned we are for when the market stabilizes in Germany. WS: And what about France? ZEILER: In France, Groupe M6

reported an almost stable operating profit of €195 million, so it actually achieved a higher operating profit than Groupe TF1.This clearly shows how strong Groupe M6 is, even in a TV-advertising market that was down by 12 percent in 2009.


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on the record stabilize itself from here on in.With the competitive edge that Grupo Antena 3 has gained, and also given the new ban on advertising at the public broadcaster TVE, we have reason to hope that 2010 will be a much better year than 2009. Finally, our worldwide production arm, FremantleMedia, faces the same difficulty as any supplier of programming: in times of crisis, broadcasters tend to look at production costs and try to squeeze the margins. FremantleMedia is in the same position as all the other big production groups, but nevertheless it managed to reach again the record results level of 2008, with operating profit stable against a slight decrease in revenues. WS: What opportunities for growth

do you see in the next 24 months? ZEILER: First of all, we have to Sing your heart out: FremantleMedia, RTL Group’s content-creation and distribution arm, is home to lucrative brands like American Idol, the hit TV show that has spawned a theme-park attraction, The American Idol Experience.

M6 outperformed the TVadvertising market, and the company had a very strong year in non-ad revenues, which were up by 8.3 percent. These activities, in fact, more than compensated for the decline in advertising revenue at the main channel, M6. Revenue from Groupe M6’s digital channels continued their strong growth, up 17.7 percent year-on-year.This was mainly driven by the strong performance of the free digital channel W9, which confirmed its market leadership among the DTT channels, with an average audience share of 3.3 percent in the main commercial target group. In France, 2009 was the first year in which we saw the positive impact of our family of channels concept: Groupe M6 was the only family of channels with growing ratings,driven by the strong growth of W9. WS: How did your broadcast businesses in other major markets perform? ZEILER: In the Netherlands, the situation was similar to the one in

Germany. RTL Nederland focused its efforts on the programming strategy of its flagship channel, RTL 4.The channel’s prime-time ratings increased even more steeply than those of RTL Television in Germany—from 14.9 percent to 17 percent in the commercial target group. In 2008, the public broadcaster Nederland 1 was the highest-rated channel, in 2009 it was RTL 4 once again. And RTL Nederland actually increased its operating profit from 2008 to 2009, thanks to an early focus on cost reduction. The U.K. market was probably the most challenging of all Western European countries. Compared to 2005, advertising revenues were down by a third. In 2008, the U.K. TV-advertising market decreased by 5 percent, and in 2009 the market declined by another estimated 12.5 percent.This has led to some clear consequences: the value of more or less all media assets decreased significantly, resulting in a lot of noncash impairments. In our case, this affected the value of Five. 226

Throughout 2009, Five’s management worked intensively on recalibrating the company’s cost base.The head count was reduced by 25 percent and program costs were also slashed. The important thing is that the management achieved these savings without losing audience shares. In fact, in terms of adult share of viewing, Five was the only terrestrial family of channels in the U.K. to slightly increase its share in 2009, while the ITV and Channel 4 families of channels lost audience share. Last but not least, Spain, where RTL Group has a 21.6-percent minority shareholding in Grupo Antena 3. Of all the European markets we operate in, the Spanish net TV-advertising market was hardest hit by the economic downturn in 2009, falling by an estimated 23.2 percent.The good news is that Antena 3’s competitive position has improved in the target group of viewers aged 16 to 54. For the first time in a long time,Antena 3 was number one. And we really hope that the Spanish market will

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continue investing in content. Here we have a great company with FremantleMedia, a real powerhouse of creative intellectual property. Second, we have to invest in and expand our family-of-channels concept in the countries where we operate.We need to build more digital channels, invest in high-definition TV services, and expand our catch-up TV platforms and other digital ventures. Third, while we are happy that we have a great relationship with the advertising industry in all the countries where we do business, we also aim to further increase our nonadvertising revenues. We call this diversification. Besides our content production and online activities that are not dependent on advertising, this also includes the pay channels that we offer to cable, satellite and IPTV operators. In return for these exclusive products, such as RTL Crime in Germany or RTL Lounge in the Netherlands, we get a certain portion of the subscriber fees.And last but not least, if we have the right concept,I don’t rule out that we may expand into additional broadcasting territories.We are,for example,looking into Asia to see whether we can develop something there.


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in conversation hen Al Gore lost the presidential election to George W. Bush, in 2000, many inside and outside the world of politics wondered what he would do next. Not many could have imagined that Gore would go on to win a Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming and an Academy Award for the feature-length documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and launch a multiplatform media company aimed at young viewers, whose goal was to open television to voices that were not heard on conventional networks. All of these accomplishments go right to the heart of issues that Gore has championed for years, as a student, as a U.S. senator and as vice president: protecting the environment, defending democracy and unlocking the power and potential of the Internet. After that embattled 2000 presidential election, Gore teamed up with the businessman Joel Hyatt in 2002 and cofounded Current Media. The cable and satellite channel and its sister website pioneered a new type of television: one that consisted of content, and even commercials, created by viewers and highlighting citizen journalism. In this exclusive interview Gore talks about his views of the media, democracy and today’s youth.

WS: What sparked the idea for Current as a multiplatform company with a TV channel and a website that feature viewer-generated content? GORE: I have long believed that television plays a far more important role in shaping our democracy than most realize and that any of us think about very much.With the rise of the

Democratizing Media

Al Gore

Internet and ever better and more affordable video cameras and editing software, it seemed that the time was right to empower the viewers to television and to create their own content.This is a shared vision of Joel’s and mine. It is an interest of mine that goes back a long way. I wrote my senior thesis in college on the impact of television on the American Constitutional system and have long been interested in related topics. I wrote a book a few years ago called The Assault on Reason that explores some of these same ideas. But Current was really intended as an effort to democratize the medium of television and to explore the boundaries between television and the Internet, with an eye to giving people an ability to connect with one another, tell the stories that are important to them, and use information as a source of self-determination in our democracy. The whole idea of representative democracy in its modern guise was borne of the [American] Revolution and in the information ecosystem brought by the printing press.And the founders of the United States were steeped in the Enlightenment values that really were a product of the printing press. And when television followed hard on the heels of radio, the recentralizing force of broadcast technology tended to exclude many people from the political process. The new technology brought by the Internet makes it possible to connect to the television medium with very low entry barriers for individuals and to reinvigorate democracy by bringing the conversation of democracy into the TV medium.That was really the initial impetus for Current. WS: You’ve also made a commitment to investigative

journalism, something that on the mainstream networks is fast disappearing.Why was that important to you? GORE: Both Joel and I care a great deal about the integrity of our democracy.As you know, our founders believed that a well-informed citizenry was, to use their phrase, “the bedrock of American democracy.” With the [demise] of newspaper business plans and the slow emergence of a new standard model that throws off enough revenue in the Internet space to support investigative journalism, we wanted to make certain that we had a strong and well-funded commitment to the highest quality investigative journalism and we are very proud of the Vanguard [investigative journalism] team and the quality of the work they have brought to TV and to current.com.We are now in the process of enlarging that commitment to investigative journalism. I used to be an investigative journalist, by the way. WS: To take what you said one step further, if we look at television news nowadays, especially cable news, it is so concerned with getting the pithy sound bite or creating conflict between two sides, as opposed to getting to the heart of issues.Are voters getting shortchanged when so many complex issues are explained in 30-second sound bites? GORE: Voters are being shortchanged.The public-interest standard, which played a more prominent role in televi-

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erode some of the most important aspects of our democracy. Now the rise of the Internet brings a hopeful prospect of lowering the entry barriers for individuals as citizens and candidates to communicate freely and well, but these are still the early days of the Internet.Television is still completely dominant with 80 percent of the campaign budgets in both major political parties going to the purchase of 30-second television ads. WS: Do you have hopes that the Inter-

Earth in perspective: Gore used his acclaimed documentary An Inconvenient Truth to raise awareness about global warming.

sion, has been slighted in recent decades and the public has suffered as a result. I often hear the anchors on the major network news programs say something like,“And now for tonight’s in-depth report,” and I reflexively look at my watch, and the evening’s in-depth report is rarely two minutes long! With the exception of 60 Minutes and Frontline and the work of a few other journalists, and I’m proud to include the Vanguard team in that small circle, the kind of in-depth investigative journalism that democracy depends upon has been in short supply in recent years.

net will someday surpass television and make it possible for people to really take part in representative democracy? GORE: Yes. I don’t think there is any question that it’s only a matter of time before television, in the words of the novelist William Gibson, [becomes] “the digital universe,” and that’s already starting to happen in a small way, but it’s going to take a considerable amount of time yet to make that transition. But as the Internet becomes more prominent in the media universe, it will bring with it greater empowerment of individuals and reinvigorate our democracy. It’s not an accident that today virtually every reform movement is largely based on the Internet.

WS: If it’s fair to say that only political candidates who have

enough money to buy large amounts of television advertising will be able to run successful campaigns, how does this affect the democratic process, not to mention the Supreme Court’s recent decision to lift the ban on political spending by corporations during election campaigns? GORE: It is causing severe damage to American democracy.The radical step taken by the Supreme Court in erasing so many progressive safeguards going back more than 100 years, in a case that did not even require them to deal with these questions in order to make a decision, is radical and reckless judicial activism in service of an ideology that is in important respects contrary to the principle values and beliefs of America’s founders. WS: And in terms of candidates who have large amounts

of money to invest in television spots, is that cutting a lot of valid candidates out of the picture? GORE: Yes it is, and going back to the discussion of this historic transition in the information ecosystem defined by the printing press and the emergence of the television age, it used to be much easier for individual citizens and candidates to use information and knowledge as a source of influence and political power, but with the beginning of television’s dominance in the political system, the requirement of sums of money in order to communicate ideas effectively began to 272

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And the winner is...: Gore and Davis Guggenheim with their Academy Award for An Inconvenient Truth.

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WS: I remember the Nixon versus Kennedy televised

debates and the value of having an attractive,“telegenic” candidate. Could Franklin Roosevelt make it today in his wheelchair as a disabled candidate or does television have an impact at that level? GORE: I think it does have an impact at that level, but I think that the more serious impact is the requirement of huge sums of money as a prerequisite for a serious candidacy. Because that causes candidates to feel the necessity of going back to business lobbies and other special interests over and over again to raise the large sums needed. Over time, that naturally erodes the ability of those candidates and elected officials to make the public interest their principal focus, because they feel the necessity of returning to the special interests for the next campaign, and naturally that will put in their mind a predisposition to give them the benefit of the doubt on any vote that may affect their desire to contribute in the future.That’s not bribery but the steady erosion of the ability elected officials must have to focus as much as possible on the public interest. WS: Yes, and on issues such as employment, education and

environment, an issue that is very important to you. Is the media doing a good enough job in getting out the word about the environment and climate change? I ask because I’m sure you were told in journalism school, as I was, that science stories and economics stories are the most difficult to tell, especially on television, because, as you said, reporters are lucky if they get two minutes for an in-depth story.What more could the media do? GORE: Well, they could do a lot more, of course, because it’s the defining challenge of our time and it coincides with the cutting of news budgets and the growing perception of news within many large media companies as a profit center.That tends to blur the dividing line between news and entertainment, and that works against the commitment needed to have an adequate treatment of issues like the climate crisis. WS: Are you still giving the lectures and are you thinking of making more documentaries? GORE: I still give my slide show on a regular basis, and I recently spent four hours integrating hundreds of new slides to update it. I don’t have any present plans to do another movie documentary, but I would certainly look forward to doing another one at some point in the future if that becomes feasible. WS: And more books? GORE: I recently published a new book,Our Choice:A Plan

to Solve the Climate Crisis, which reached number two on The New York Times best-seller list and is doing extremely well in countries around the world.It came out in November and I would say I’m still in the period of time that it is not wise to ask me if I’m about to do another book. 4/10

WS: From your involvement in Current and the slide

shows on climate change you give, what have you learned about what young people care about and what they want from media? GORE: They care about the climate crisis.They care about protecting our national security against this ridiculous overdependence on foreign oil.They care about creating new jobs and a bright future that a commitment to renewable energy and a low-carbon economy can bring. They want transparency and openness in their media. They want to connect with their friends and peers and social groups in the context of the media they are consuming, and they are extremely sophisticated in their understanding of media and media technologies. And they are driving a lot of the changes now under way in the media marketplace, as everyone knows. WS: And they don’t want to pay for anything! They

don’t want to pay for cable subscriptions, they don’t want to pay for newspapers because they read them online.That’s going to create a problem down the road for media companies. GORE: That’s true, but it may be an overstatement if you look at what is happening in gaming, for example: micropayments, virtual goods, subscriptions for content deemed to be sufficiently differentiated and valuable.All of those trends challenge the oft-stated assumptions that people won’t pay for online content.The low entry barriers for content creators guarantees that there will be always an enormous amount of free content, and that’s a good thing. But I think that over time the shift toward a willingness to compensate content creators for premium content is a trend you are going to see grow. New business models are already emerging and they integrate micropayments that are deemed culturally and economically acceptable to that generation of young consumers you are talking about. ■ World Screen

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Awards season: Gore accepting the 2007 International Emmy Founders Award for his achievements in launching Current and his efforts to protect the environment.


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in conversation A New Kind of Television

how we got to where we are today.We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished.And yet, we believe we are at the tip of the iceberg and have a lot more still to do.

Current Media’s Joel Hyatt Under the leadership of Joel Hyatt, co-founder and vice chairman of Current Media, Current TV has grown to 70 million households: in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Italy. It has received numerous awards, including an Emmy, making it the youngest network ever to win such an honor. Current.com attracts more than 7 million monthly unique visitors. Hyatt talks about his plans for the network and its website.

WS: What is Current’s mission? It started from the getgo as both a channel and a website, right? HYATT: Yes, we view ourselves very much multiplatform. At the outset the Internet was a critical part of our production infrastructure.We created the first virtual online production studio that allowed content creators all over the world to learn how to create and submit content, discuss it, have it vetted by others, including our editors, and then have it voted upon by a community.The very best content would make it to Current TV. So back at the beginning, the major innovation that Al [Gore] and I brought to the television platform was viewer-created content, what is known today as user-generated content. When Al and I set off on the mission to build a new kind of media company, that was an unheard-of concept—no one had user-generated content,YouTube didn’t exist, there were no iReports on CNN— none of it! So we are very proud of the thought leadership we provided to the media industry.We get a lot of amusement thinking back when we were out trying to proselytize the concept and everyone in the industry thought it was the stupidest thing they had ever heard! And now fast-forward five years—you say,Wow! So that part is very exciting. When we started out, there was also a lot we didn’t know.We didn’t know,for example,that you can’t start a cable-television network in the United States of America—it’s a completely closed system; it’s a controlled oligopoly—we didn’t know that.And the wonderful thing about entrepreneurship is we weren’t willing to be told that by the people who did know better than we! We went off in our ignorance and thank God we did! So that is a great story as to 274

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WS: Do you foresee more international expansion? HYATT: We do, we see a lot more international

expansion. We are very excited about what we are doing in Italy and in the U.K. Current is being well received. We will be launching Current TV in South Africa this summer. Of course, we see tremendous opportunity in the U.S. We are going through a process now of refining our brand lens so we can much more clearly communicate who Current is, what we stand for and what we are about.We’re going to be launching some new and exciting programming—all variations of our original mission but enhancements, refinements and improvements as we learn better how to achieve our mission. Al and I set out to make waves and we still want to do that—that’s a guiding mission—and the way we want to do that is by telling stories that no one else is telling, in ways no one else is telling them. WS: How did the VCAMs (viewer-created ad messages) come about? HYATT: Well, it was an extension of our core innovation.When Al and I were excited about having viewers and citizens creating content, it was a logical extension to say, why can’t consumers create ads? And it’s been a huge home run for us. And our research shows that viewers prefer VCAMs 9 to 1 over the Madison Avenue ads. It’s just huge. And it really makes sense,VCAMs are authentic.They are real people telling a real story about a brand or a product or a service. And that authenticity comes through.We’ve taken advertising and turned it into content. People view this as programming. So when you are watching Current TV and we put a VCAM up we let you know it’s coming because you’re not going to change the channel, you are not going to go to the bathroom.You want to see the viewer-created ad because it’s become programming. And our brand advertisers absolutely love it.We see tremendous opportunity to really scale up this whole concept in a very big way. WS: What opportunities and challenges do you see in

the year to come? HYATT: Our biggest challenge at Current right now is that

we need to have our first breakout hit show on Current TV. We are working very hard toward that challenge because,at the end of the day, we’ve won almost every award in the business, and the next step in our evolution is to build our brand awareness, to gain more viewership. If you study the industry, the real trigger to doing that is the first bona fide hit show. So we are putting a lot of effort into accomplishing that, and I’m very confident that we will. It’s a very exciting process—and an exciting time at Current! ■

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Light Years Ahead


PRINT AND DIGITAL MAGAZINES WORLD SCREEN TV LATINA TV EUROPE TV ASIA PACIFIC TV MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA TV KIDS TV NIテ前S TV REAL TV FORMATS TV FORMATOS TV NOVELAS TV LISTINGS PRINT AND DIGITAL GUIDES WORLD SCREEN DISTRIBUTORS GUIDE TV KIDS DISTRIBUTORS GUIDE LATIN AMERICAN CHANNELS GUIDE LATIN AMERICAN DISTRIBUTORS GUIDE WEBSITES WORLDSCREEN.COM TVLATINA.TV WORLDSCREENINGS.COM TVLATINASCREENINGS.TV TVKIDS.WS TVEUROPE.WS TVREAL.WS TVFORMATS.WS TVDATA.WS TVLATINA.WS TVUSA.WS TVNOVELAS.WS TVINTERACTIVE.WS TVLISTINGS.WS NEXTMEDIA.WS WORLDSCREENJOBS.COM ONLINE NEWSLETTERS WORLD SCREEN NEWSFLASH WORLD SCREEN WEEKLY TV KIDS WEEKLY TV REAL WEEKLY DIARIO TV LATINA TV LATINA SEMANAL TV NIテ前S SEMANAL TV NOVELAS SEMANAL TV CANALES SEMANAL VIDEO MEDIAMINUTE TELEMINUTO WORLD SCREEN VIDEO REPORTS TV LATINA VIDEO REPORTS


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world’s end

IN THE STARS

Almost every national constitution forbids the establishment of an official state religion. But this secular bent doesn’t stop people from looking to the heavens for answers to life’s most troublesome questions: Will I succeed? Will I find love? Will Lindsay Lohan sue me? Every day, papers and magazines

Miley Cyrus

Sandra Bullock

Lindsay Lohan

Ryan Seacrest

Lindsay Lohan

Miley Cyrus

Global distinction: Rehabbed party girl. Sign: Cancer (b. July 2, 1986) Significant date: March 10, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The actress is suing E*Trade

Global distinction: Teen phenomenon. Sign: Sagittarius (b. November 23, 1992) Significant date: March 17, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The daughter of Achy Breaky

Financial Corp. for $100 million, claiming a “milkaholic” baby girl who appeared in a recent commercial for the online brokerage firm was modeled after her. Lohan claims the ad improperly invoked her “likeness, name, characterization and personality” without permission, violating her right of privacy. Horoscope: “This is a cautious period for you. Your disturbed mood might lead you to develop enemies and become self-conscious, [and] overly paranoid. Handle your emotions carefully.” (iloveindia.com)

Heart crooner Billy Ray Cyrus says in a new interview with Parade magazine that she’s not a fan of country music.“It scares me,” says the pop starlet, who goes on to call the music genre “contrived on so many levels.” Horoscope: “If all goes as planned this year, you may find yourself very appreciative of your career and practical skills in 2010. Your heart will be grateful as you look back on what brought you to where you are today.” (zimbio.com)

sight occasionally prove prophetic.

Sandra Bullock

Ryan Seacrest

But rather than poring over charts

Global distinction: Oscar-winning actress. Sign: Leo (b. July 26, 1964) Significant date: March 18, 2010 Noteworthy activity: Just days after winning the

Global distinction: American Idol host. Sign: Capricorn (b. December 24, 1974) Significant date: March 17, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The host announces to his more

Oscar for The Blind Side, the brunette is on the front page of tabloids and newspapers again, with reports saying that her husband, Jesse James, had an affair with a tattoo model. The woman involved in the allegations says she assumed he was separated from Bullock when the relations happened. Horoscope: “Leo loves strongly, and will defend the honor of those that they love. Make sure you find a soulmate who is worth fighting for.” (astrology-insight.com)

than 3 million Twitter followers the name of the latest contestant voted off American Idol—before the episode airs in Los Angeles or anywhere else on the West Coast. Tweeters in the PST time zone are peeved about the spoiler. Horoscope: “All of Capricorn’s patience is needed to deal with current situations.Though you may be eager, do not get distracted and act too quickly.” (capricornfreehoroscope.com)

George Clooney

Katherine Heigl

Global distinction: Hollywood leading man. Sign: Taurus (b. May 6, 1961) Significant date: March 7, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The A-list hunk votes against

Global distinction: Buxom beauty. Sign: Sagittarius (b. November 24, 1978) Significant date: March 18, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The actress suffers an embarrass-

himself to win the best actor award at this year’s Oscars. Instead, he checks off the name of Jeff Bridges, who went on to take home the statuette. Clooney goes so far as to take a photo of the ballot and send it to the Crazy Heart star. Horoscope: “Taureans have no greediness in their nature.They are very humble and genuine people, but when the time requires,Taureans, you still must claim what is yours.” (astrobix.com)

ing wardrobe malfunction onstage as she accepts an award at ShoWest in Las Vegas. One of the straps breaks on her red dress in the middle of her acceptance speech. The show’s emcee, Billy Bush, swoops in and holds Heigl’s strap in place as she finishes her speech. Horoscope: “You must be extra prepared in all matters, professional and financial. Many curve balls will be thrown at you, but you can knock them out of the park with the right amount of preparation.” (iloveuindia.org)

worldwide print horoscopes—projections for people born in a specific month, based on the positions of the stars and planets. While many people rely on these daily, weekly or monthly messages for guidance in their lives, some readers skip over them entirely. The editors of WS recognize that these little pearls of random fore-

of the zodiac to predict world events, our staff prefers to use past horoscopes in an attempt to legitimate the science. As you can see here, had some of these media figures remembered to consult their horoscopes on significant days, they could have avoided a few surprises.

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World Screen MIPTV 2010  

MIPTV 2010 Edition of World Screen