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PayTV business and the crisis (part II)

October 31st, 2008

In my last post I wrote about some of the talk at MIPCOM about the crisis. It’s a few weeks later right now, and I have to re-assess my original statement of the (non-advertising dependent part of the) PayTV business not being affected by the crisis.

The reason for this revision is that I keep hearing from friends in the industry, and reading in the news that PayTV operators are having a tough time.

However, I believe that they’re having a tough time due to problems that are more financial in nature. Many of the new CableCo’s and Telco’s took on massive amounts of debt in the past to build, upgrade and roll out their networks. Subscriber roll-out/uptake probably hasn’t been as quick as they predicted/hoped for. Most of them have gone through a bunch of re-financing rounds, and now… they’re out of money and in need to go through another re-financing round.

The banks obviously are asking for more guarantees and stricter measures then ever. They have to, since they’re in trouble themselves. This is why I think we’ll see more lay-offs in the PayTV industry in the future.

However, I stick to my original statement that in times of crisis, people spend relatively more money on PayTV.

Originally published by Bastian Manintveld.

Filed under Events

MIPCOM 2008: Cannes and the crisis

October 19th, 2008

This week I went to MIPCOM. MIPCOM is a tradeshow held every October, where the worlds content sellers and content buyers come together to buy and sell content. You have all the Hollywood studios, major television production companies, loads of broadcasters, cable and IPTV platforms, Indy’s and many others there. In the words of the organizer:

MIPCOM is the global content event for creating, co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content across all platforms. It provides the key decision-makers in the TV, film, digital and audiovisual content, production and distribution industry with the only market conference and networking forum to discover future trends and trade content rights on a global level.

Every year in May, there’s a show called MIPTV, which is basically the same as MIPCOM. So the worlds content buyers and sellers come together twice a year to do business in Cannes.

A lot of talk this year was around whether the crisis affects television business. My own take on that is that for freeTV (state and commercial broadcasters), it probably does. They have business models that depend on selling advertising space, and the advertisers are feeling the crisis right now. As a result, the broadcasters must also feel it.

For PayTV, PPV and video on demand however, it is a different story in my opinion. Once the man in the street (let’s call him Joe the Plumber) starts feeling the crisis, he stops going to the pub, restaurants, theater, holidays etc. PayTV is a very cheap form of entertainment compared to these alternatives, so I think that people will actually spend more money on televised entertainment rather then less. Many of the people I’ve spoken to at MIPCOM were of the same opinion. However….. I do recognize that many of us may be biased, because for our own livelihood we depend on this business.

I’m very keen to learn what others think of this.

Originally published by Bastian Manintveld.

Filed under Events