RTS CAMBRIDGE. Television is obsessed with channels and still fighting the last war, according to Anthony Lilley chief executive, Magic Lantern Productions. Delivering the Huw Wheldon Memorial Lecture to the bi-annual gathering of the Royal Television Society in Cambridge, Lilley said that in many cases individual programmes were gaining more significance than the channels on which they appeared.
Lilley also questioned the concept of the archive channel: “How long will repeats, and channels full of them, pass the viability test once video on demand takes hold? 10 years?” He said that some people believed the main purpose of the internet was to deliver television channels, when it was a communications tool first, and at best a content delivery mechanism second.
The audience of TV executives were given parallels between past TV programmes and popular internet sites. There was a clip of Winky Dink and You – the US cartoon where children were encouraged to draw on a special film placed on the TV to get the eponymous hero out of trouble; Multicoloured Swap Shop – where children’s swapped were the ’70s answer to Ebay and Hartbeat, in which viewer paintings were displayed for all to see in what Lilley suggested could have been a precursor to Flickr.