The challenges of a shifting TV landscape will be discussed by television executives at this year's RTS Cambridge Convention, chaired by BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Victory is not always achieved by the first out of the blocks or the fastest car into the opening corner. Sometimes, steadiness of purpose and coming from behind is more effective. That sums up the strategy that Discovery has adopted in the uber-competitive streaming wars.
Having watched Netflix, Amazon Prime and, more recently, Disney+ and others enter the global streaming market, Discovery+ will launch its own service in the US only in January. Some observers have argued that it might be too little, too late.
Documenting the planet with the BBC, differentiating Discovery from Netflix and the other streamers – and taking Amazon on at its own retail game – were the three big themes expounded by Discovery’s President and CEO, David Zaslav.
David Zaslav talks to Kate Silverton about Discovery’s move to direct to consumer, the company's ambitions to serve global audiences through verticals across sport, lifestyle and factual, and the subjects which inspire him personally to push the company’s business forward.
Since taking command at Discovery Communications in 2007, David Zaslav has conquered the world. The US giant now operates in 230 countries – and is still expanding.
Eurosport was added to its roster of channels in 2014 and the rights to the Olympics Games nabbed this summer.
“We are a global company and more global than any other media company in the world. We have more employees outside the US than we do in the US. We make more money outside the US,” said Zaslav.
It will include stories about the volunteers and athletes, news about the games and background information. And it will be delivered online via Over The Top (OTT) services.
The IOC President, Thomas Bach, told German media magazine Horizont that he believes in the importance of having appealing content on digital platforms.
Over-the-top hyperbole is usually de rigueur when it comes to unveiling big TV sports-rights deals. But, this summer, when Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav declared his company’s €1.3bn, pan-European deal with the International Olympic Committee a “game changer”, it seemed more like an understatement.
The contract, which runs from 2018, caused many people’s jaws to drop – while others scratched their heads over its implications. It seemed like another blow to the BBC and its grip on the world’s greatest festival of sport.
The preliminary programme for this year's RTS Cambridge Convention has been announced.
The convention, held on a biennial basis, brings together leading figures from the television and its related industry.
This year's event looks forward to television in 2020, focusing on the challenge for content, creativity and business models.
The programme features sessions covering foreign ownership of UK production, the rise of the smart phone in television viewing, and the influence of talent in programme-making.