05 June, 2015

News Views

Welcome to News Views, CASBAA’s news round-up culled from sources across the industry for the week ending Jun 5th. Curated by CASBAA, News Views keeps you in the loop. We always value your feedback, so tell us what you think!

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Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Pricewaterhouse Coopers has issued its latest Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019. Among the key takeaways:consumers simply don’t care whether they’re watching linear TV or OTT, they just want to watch what they want to watch; and online advertising will overtake TV ad spend in 2019. It’s not a small report, but fortunately, there is a video summary (its last line: “Put mobile — and increasingly video — at the centre…”).
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

There are still hoops to jump through before Charter’s purchase of Time Warner Cable is final in the US, but winners in the deal are already being counted. Meanwhile, in the absence of real news, media coverage is focusing on the personalities; easy to do when one of the protagonists is John Malone, who can often be counted on to give good quote. Meanwhile, other M&A activity is developing in the US: Dish Network and T-Mobile are apparently in talks about merging, even as AT&T and Direct try to reassure regulators about their proposed merger.

 

John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Not very much like Southeast Asia: Indonesia’s TV censors are taking a sledgehammer approach to international TV content. A recent letter from the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) to pay-TV platforms was leaked, and has been reported in the vernacular press. (This report is in Bahasa Indonesia, but if you put it through a machine translator it comes out relatively comprehensible.) The letter tells the platforms that international channels (starting with francophone channel TV5 Monde, but more will come) have to be subjected to 24-hour pre-censorship, or taken off the air. KPI wants the platforms to bear the cost and responsibility of pre-censorship, but platform operators don’t want any part of that, so several have removed TV5 Monde from the air. Where will this stop? How many channels will the sledgehammer hit? Stay tuned. (Meanwhile, TV5’s OTT operation and satellite broadcasts remain available, to Indonesians with a broadband connection or C-band dish.)
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

The copyright lawsuit of interest this week sees normally fierce competitors CNN, NBC, Fox News, and CBS suing US company TVEyes, which monitors, clips, and repackages news content. Like the Meltwater service two years ago (in a suit by the Associated Press), TVEyes defends itself with a claim that it is making fair use of the news content it scrapes. The news broadcasters aren’t having any of that, though, and they told the court “TVEyes unlawfully misappropriates (the news) market for itself…. It systematically records content from over a thousand television channels, and charges subscription fees to its customers in exchange for distributing to them massive amounts of content it has neither created nor licensed.”

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

Just ahead of the China and the World conference next week comes the news that China’s state media watchdog is planning a raft of new rules for reality TV shows, which will restrict satellite broadcasters to one reality series per year with limits on repeats. The new rules will begin to take effect by the end of June but so far Chinese online video providers do not seem to be affected by the new directive. It’s still not too late toregister for the China and the World event which will be held on June 10th in Shanghai.
Mark Lay

Mark Lay

Vice President, Singapore

If one thinks that the only possible threat to their video distribution business from Google is Youtube, think again. Google’s Android TV wants to turn every app into a TV channel. Android TV was first unveiled in 2014, but has been making progress. Although initially available only on the Nexus Player (from Asus) and Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV streaming boxes, TV’s from Sony, Sharp and Philips are now making Android TV sets. The interesting thing about Android TV is that it tries to be a mix of on-line content with traditional TV shows. And get this, “the company [Google] is asking participating online video providers to actually program their channels in a linear fashion, complete with primetime slots”. What is (not even) old is new again.
Desmond Chung

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

Some good news about the growing awareness of the Internet piracy in India. On a complaint filed by Zee Network, the Delhi police busted a gang of Internet television pirates. Over two dozen people were caught `stealing’ live feed of pay channels using more than 50 DTH and cable TV set-top boxes. The articles didn’t say, but we’ve seen that many of the pirate sites being fed by this ring are ad-supported. Zee used the occasion to argue for improvements in India’s copyright laws and we agree on that! We’d also say that this demonstrates the need for the online advertising industry to clean up its act, and take action to stop ad dollars from feeding the piracy syndicates.
Desmond Chung

Jane Buckthought

Advertising Consultant

At London Trend Seminar 2015, Henry Mason argued that the traditional demographics of age, gender and income were no longer pertinent. He identified new trends of consumerism in which people are constructing lifestyles in the way they want to.
Christopher Slaughter

Christopher Slaughter

CEO

Comedies were notably absent from the new programmes debuted at the recent upfronts in the US, reinforcing a programming trend toward dramas that has been building for a while. But the laughs haven’t gone away, they just seem to have found a new home on the web, where experimentation is cheaper, and the price of failure is lower. (Not entirely unrelated, Charlie Rose interviews Larry David on 60 Minutes.)
John Medeiros

John Medeiros

Chief Policy Officer

Kansas City like Singapore? Availability of very capable broadband networks in Kansas City is resulting in – surprise surprise – people using those networks to increase piracy. The local newspaper takes the side of the pirates, complaining that Google Fiber is being cooperative with content owner bullies. In other piracy news, there’s an Australian support that streaming piracy rings have begun really going after the good stuff — targeting Foxtel’s proprietary sports channels and funding their operations by selling cut-rate subscriptions. And on the good news side, a report that Netflix’s growth is resulting in a decline in piracy. (An outcome devoutly to be wished – even if the article is very short on hard numbers.)
Desmond Chung

Anjan Mitra

Executive Director, India

They claim it’s a first in the world. But whether a first or not, it’s certainly a novelty and brings much-maligned audience measurement data that much closer to an ordinary consumer of TV content. And along comes more transparency in the whole eco-system. With #BARCTweet, now even a non-subscriber to BARC India services can get data within five minutes via Twitter. With such technological innovations, one wonders where does it leave services of TAM India, which was the dominant currency of audience measurement till about 18 months back?

Kevin Jennings

Programme Director

So it’s a story even when it’s not happening  –