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.
Josh Sapan was welcomed as “the real deal, one of the greats of American cable and the television industry” by his interviewer, Tim Davie. Not only that, the audience learned that Sapan was cut from a different cloth to most US TV executives because he understood British humour.
That’s germane because Sapan, President and CEO of AMC Networks, landed a 49.9% stake in BBC America (for $200m) in October 2014.
“We are cousins of the BBC, married into the family, a delight for me,” said the donnish-looking, New York-based cable veteran.
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.
AMC Networks President and CEO Josh Sapan lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of antique lightning rods. "They’re architectural and a form of industrial art. I just got captivated by them," he explains.
One or two of them can be found lying around his office on Penn Plaza, a few blocks from the Empire State Building, alongside examples of another passion. This is his collection of panoramic photographs of people and places from the last century.