TV Execs Engage Investors at UBS Conference


Over a three day period, from Dec. 8 – 10, the 42nd annual UBS Global Media and Communications Conference was held at the Westin New York hotel. Leaders from various entertainment and television firms offered presentations on the state of the industry and their businesses to excited investors.

Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman was a big draw, and his remarks emphasized the importance of TV Everywhere, measurement and second-screens.

“You have to deliver ‘TV everywhere,’ you can’t just say you have ‘TV everywhere,'” Dauman said, adding that “There is no question young audiences want to watch content on all devices they use, particularly on mobile devices … we want to be there, and we also want our partners to be there too.”

He also went on to emphasize that the company would be debuting new programming and services via mobile in 2015, stating "We have a lot of real estate that we can build beautiful new homes on."

Chief research officer at CBS, David Poltrack, discussed over-the-top services.

“The growth of streaming is seen at this point to be the major disruptive force in the media landscape today,” he told the attendees.

Although, he did take the time to knock Netflix, as he noted that they haven’t released a successful show in a while.

“It’s been more than one year since Netflix introduced a true, new hit program,” Poltrack observed. “That batting average is below the batting average of the pay cable network, as well as the broadcast networks. Netflix is a player in the original content business, but they do not appear to have found any magic formula for success in that business.”

21st Century Fox co-COO James Murdoch also had a few words to say on the digital space.

“If it makes sense for the business to broadcast over wires via the Internet or cable or whatever then we’ll do it,” he said.

Murdoch described OTT service Hulu as “an exciting business that becomes more exciting.”

Other presenters included Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt CEO Linda Zecher and CFO Eric Shuman, who shared further thoughts on digital television.

Author: Brian Cameron


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