The threat to UK television from US streamers is growing, but there is also danger closer to home – the potential break-up of the country and a subsequent loss of “Britishness”. If independence movements flourish and the UK starts to fragment, how should broadcasters and producers respond?
Footage of John Cleese’s famous all-star 1985 BBC licence fee advert – in which he adapts the “What have the Romans ever done for us?” scene from Monty Python’s Life of Brian to show how much the corporation provides – kicked off this session on public service broadcasting. Former BBC Director-General and New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said many of the reasons that Cleese listed for paying the licence fee still felt “very true today”.
"This is my perfect job.” During more than 40 years in television, Gary Davey has worked across the board – from taking charge of all content and creative services at Sky Germany, to being the CEO of Hong Kong-based Star TV.
But it is only now, as CEO of Sky Studios, that he feels like he is in his dream role: as “the gamekeeper turned poacher – having been a broadcaster all my life and now being a supplier”.
Gary Davey, CEO of Sky Studios, joins journalist Kirsty Wark in conversation as part of the RTS Digital Convention 2020.
Gary talks about doing his dream job, content in local and global markets and the way he’s working with the production community.
He said he would not emulate Netflix and Amazon who had respectively agreed exclusive contracts with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
“The idea of having a talent deal is dangerous,” said Davey, who singled out Sky’s I Hate Suzie, HBO's The Undoing and Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit as among his favourite current shows.
“What matters first is the story and then finding the right people - whether it’s the writers, producers, directors, cinematographers.
The BBC has responded to the rise of subscription video-on-demand services by extending the iPlayer catch-up window from 30 days to one year.
BBC iPlayer chief Dan McGolpin defended the decision: “TV works in seasons… it means that things which are on a yearly cycle, such as The Apprentice, will be there.” He claimed that audiences, months after transmission, can now be “substantial” – some 40% of Killing Eve’s audience came to the thriller after the original catch-up window.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings talks to Kirsty Wark about the investment in storytelling, production and talent which helps Netflix keep its crown as Queen of the SVoDs.
Julian Bellamy, Managing Director at ITV Studios, Howard Davine, Former ABC Studios Executive Vice President, Business Operations, Dan McGolpin, Controller, Programming and iPlayer at the BBC, Jane Turton, CEO at All3Media and Kirsty Wark debate what the rise of the SVODs will mean for UK broadcasters and producers in the greatest shake up of the TV landscape since the Communications Act of 2003 gave the indies the rights to the programmes they produce.