CABLE CONGRESS 2009 – BERLIN. Mike Fries, the president and CEO of Liberty Global, has given an honest assessment of what his company does well and not so well.
Speaking at a session entitled A view from the top – monetising content in the digital age, he listed the former as providing a high quality HD signal, having access to the best content, good relationships with programmers and operating a technical platform that gives subscribers control of content.
The minus points were its current user interface and the inability “to give something you pay for on TV on your PC.”
Commenting on other issues, Fries referred to the BBC’s iPlayer as “an amazing event, but (also) an anomaly, unlikely to be offered ever again” as it had no business model and was operated by a company with no profit motive.
Mike Volpi, the CEO of Joost, meanwhile complimented iPlayer as it “educates the audience.”
He also predicted that there would be a transition in the business model (for cable) in the next few years. While “bundling will not go away”, paying for 150 channels will, with packaging becoming “a lot more sophisticated.”