IBC 2010 – AMSTERDAM. “With on-demand TV we see the opposite of fragmentation,” Gerhard Zeiler, CEO RTL said during Friday’s keynote session, “It is all about blockbuster viewing, both for movies and for TV series.”
Zeiler believe in the future of online television despite talks of ‘the of TV as we know it.’ “It will always be the majority [of viewing], because it is simple and it is comfortable. Yes, there will be on-demand, but everyone seems to believe that on-demand will canabalise linear. So far, the figures have not shown that. TV viewing time is up in the recent 10 years, year on year, and this is linar TV only, we have seen that in all the countries where we are active.”
“Of course our task is to find the right business model for on-demand. “Overall, TV watching is going up. But linear television is fragmenting. With on-demand we find the opposite, it is counter-fragmenting. As market leader, we are not afraid of on-demand.”
On the contrary, take for instance daily soaps. Fans tend to watch an average of two and a quart episode per week, so they turn to catch-up TV to see the episodes they missed.
Zeiler does not believe connected TV is a big threat to broadcasters such as RTL, “Ther is a big difference between TV and the music industry. We are not dependent on 1 platform [iTunes]. We have te develop our own platforms and we are now doing that. Despite all the talk of going international, Hulu have not done one single deal. Why? Because we didn’t want to do a deal!”
“There are two 2 conditions for us. First, we don’t sell single programmes, we are selling brands. Second, we are selling ads, we will not have not third parties selling ads [with our programmes]. There will not be one iTunes in the TV industry and there will not be not one party that will control on demand viewing.”
“On-demand viewing is now showing numbers for RTL ‘The viewers are there and now the advertisers start to go there, we do not sell under our regular GDP pricing with online video.” What about new initiatives such as Google TV? “Well Google is finnanced so that can do anything they want; they could offer some 10 bn to the RTL Group shareholders if they want to do that. But to go into our market and throw business model up, it is not as easy as it looks. Telcos in the US – they tried to do it twice and were not successful.”