Enders Analysis

Campbell Swinton Lecture: Claire Enders, Enders Analysis

Campbell Swinton was one of Scotland’s pioneers of television technology whose legacy RTS continues to celebrate with a series of high level lectures. The last two speakers were then SNP leader Alex Salmond and BBC Scotland Director Ken MacQuarrie.

Rising above the political fray in Westminster and Holyrood, Claire Enders will explain the purpose and foundations of the PSB system of producing and commissioning news and current affairs, quality entertainment and documentaries, sustained by the BBC, C4, ITV, STV and C5.

Ash Atalla, Claire Enders, Evan Shapiro, Dan Clays and Patrick Holland on their 2024 TV predictions

Last year was a sobering one for television as a post-Covid boom that had seen production and advertising revenues surge fizzled out. Will 2024 see the industry refill its glasses and toast its own success – or is the bubbly still flat?

To answer this question, the RTS assembled a top-notch panel for its first national event of the year; late last month, it asked panel members for their 2024 TV predictions.

Advertising revenues would bounce back during the year, Claire Enders, the founder of Enders Analysis, told a packed house in central London.

Where next for TV ad revenue?

The downturn in UK TV advertising revenue is beyond dispute, with marked declines in the first half of 2023. But what is the full picture and when might we see a recovery?

Channel 4, reliant on ad revenue to fund its content, has paused most commissioning, dropped productions and reduced episode counts for shows in the pipeline. With characteristic sensationalism, The Mail on Sunday reported on 10 June that Channel 4 staff had branded the situation a “bloodbath”.

PSB on the rack in Europe

Backs to the wall: France Télévisions co-production Germinal (credit: France Télévisions)

There is a sea change afoot across European public service broadcasting (PSB). Alongside the ongoing tumult that surrounds the future of the BBC and Channel 4, several continental European PSBs have recently undergone significant reforms to their funding models. All this comes at a time when they face an intensifying battle for eyeballs and production resources with predominantly US-based streaming giants. 

Channel 4 privatisation gets the green light

Channel 4’s national headquarters in Leeds (Credit: Channel 4)

In a string of tweets, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, announced on 4 April 2022 the privatisation of Channel 4. This policy will be part of a media bill to be announced in next month’s Queen’s Speech. When that bill reaches the top of the agenda, it will eventually kick off a legislative process via the House of Commons and the House of Lords designed to end the creation of Margaret Thatcher’s Government 40 years ago this November. 

Amazon's online drive for audiences

The Grand Tour (Credit: Amazon)

It’s rare for Yorkshire town Whitby to make the national press – unless, of course, there’s been a flood – but wherever Jeremy Clarkson goes, the world follows. Amazon’s impending launch of The Grand Tour is one of the most globally anticipated series of all time.

Jay Marine, vice-president of Amazon Prime Video Europe, says: “It is a huge TV moment, not only for us but for UK TV generally.”

Claire Enders defends public service broadcasting in Campbell Swinton Lecture

Claire Enders offered a robust defence of public service broadcasting in delivering the RTS Scotland Campbell Swinton Lecture to a sold-out lecture room at BBC Scotland in November.

The founder and owner of media researcher firm Enders Analysis backed the Scottish Government’s media policy. “Here, the administration believes that public service broadcasting is a fundamental good for all and believes in the core market interventions – the BBC, Channel 4 – that have been developed over almost a century,” she said.

Philippe Dauman: The king in waiting

Philippe Dauman

Philippe Dauman, Chief Executive of Viacom, the media empire created by nonagenarian Sumner Redstone, has been called many things in his long Viacom career.

One is "dauphin", marking both his succession potential and the fact that he is French-born. Although he has lived almost all of his life in the US, Dauman is a fluent French speaker.

He is "an iron fist in a velvet glove" according to Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive of WPP. The New York Times summed him up as "The man who would be Redstone".