Tim Davie

What does the future hold for unscripted television?

Emma Willis in The Circle (Credit: Richard Kendal/ Channel 4)

Are we at peak unscripted content? Session chair Tim Davie noted that – while there was no short-age of good news for the genre (18 of the 20 top-performing original programmes on broadcast TV in the US that summer had been formatted entertainment) – there were worrying signs for the genre. The UK was still producing hit formats, but margins were declining and it was no longer the fastest growing market for original formats.

Tom Mockridge appointed Chair of the Royal Television Society

Tom is the CEO of Virgin Media and a member of the Executive Leadership Team of parent company Liberty Global, the world’s largest international TV and broadband company. Tom joined Liberty Global in June 2013 following the acquisition of Virgin Media. During the previous two decades he worked for News Corporation in a variety of senior roles across the world. He started his career as a newspaper journalist in his native New Zealand, then in Australia, before becoming an adviser and spokesperson for the Federal Treasurer, the Honourable Paul Keating.

London Conference Session Two: Quest for the global grail

'Go Global or Go Home' at the RTS London Conference 2016 (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

Global hits, unscripted as well as scripted, are what a lot of people in television dream of. Platform proliferation ought to mean that there are more hits than ever before but, as the panellists in this session – “Go global or go home” – know to their cost, hits remain as elusive as unity in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. 

Three of the four panellists have deep, hands-on experience of selling drama – Tim Davie, CEO, BBC Worldwide and Director, Global; Michael Edelstein, President, NBCUniversal International Studios; and Jane Millichip, Managing Director, Sky Vision. 

AMC's Josh Sapan: American television is a business of numbers

Josh Sapan

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.

RTS Cambridge Convention 2015 programme announced

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.