RTS Digital Convention 2020

RTS Digital Convention: Start with the story

"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”.

RTS Digital Convention: Culture shock

Cécile Frot-Coutaz, head of YouTube, EMEA, has urged broadcasters to form more partnerships with the Google-­owned platform, which this summer was revealed to be the third most-watched video service in the UK after the BBC and ITV.

Speaking at the RTS Digital Convention, the former Fremantle CEO emphasised that her company had plenty of evidence to show that legacy platforms seeking young audiences would be smart to cement their ties with the video-sharing platform.

Sky Studios' Gary Davey on why story trumps talent at the RTS Digital Convention 2020

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. 

Making the most of YouTube’s collaborative culture

She joined YouTube in 2018 from global production giant Fremantle, where as CEO she oversaw international hits like the Idol franchise and X Factor.     

“It’s very different to working in TV in a vast number of ways…YouTube speaks a different language…The first thing that hits you are the acronyms…  

“What strikes most people when they come in from outside is how collaborative the culture is.   

How technology is changing the future of healthcare

To “intervene earlier and prevent folks from getting sick before they do” is the grand hope of Dr Alan Karthikesalingam, a surgeon scientist and research lead at Google Health UK. His aspirational vision “may take a long time”, he conceded.

As part of the RTS Digital Convention 2020, he was in conversation with Professor Lord (Ara) Darzi, President of the British Science Association. The two surgeons quickly set the tone as they discussed the difficulties confronting them during the pandemic.

ITV's Carolyn McCall: Flying the flag for PSB

Carolyn McCall offered a robust defence of public service broadcasting during the course of a revealing and wide-ranging interview at the RTS Digital Convention 2020. ITV’s CEO – who was probed by ITV News London and Loose Women presenter Charlene White – also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement, BritBox, ITV’s digital strategy and its response to the corona­virus epidemic.

McCall said that the first Covid-19 lockdown had “brought home to a lot of people” the importance of having “a trusted [TV] source, [with no] disinformation”.

Google - technology that can help health outcomes

Professor Lord Ara Darzi, President of the British Science Association, spoke to Dr Alan Karthikesalingam, Research Lead at Google Health UK, in a fascinating encounter highlighting the work that Google has been doing since the spring in the fight against Covid-19.  

With so much fake news concerning the pandemic available on the internet, Google was determined to disseminate reliable facts relating to coronavirus and how it presents and the way it is spread.