CTAM EUROSUMMIT ’10 – BUDAPEST. Europe’s cable CEOs are confident they can fend off the challenge from over-the-top TV companies such as Google TV and Apple TV.
Johan Flykt, CEO, of the Finnish Welho network said that while the larger players might enjoy some success they lacked a vital presence in the local market. “What we see is a rush to over-the-top because the players did not have access to the customers before and now they do. The business model is not sustainable.”
“The consumer has an insatiable demand for content and we as operators serve them very well,” offered Eric Tveter, CEO, Cablecom. “Clearly OTT raises a level of concern but I don’t see it as a major threat,” He said it was more important for the Swiss operator to better serve people in their homes.
However, Eddie Nelson, managing director Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks Central Europe, which offers viewers its own catch-up service of recent shows suggested it was only going over-the-top because the cablecos did not always have the infrastructure in place.
“We have 1,600 operators and of those there’s less than five that can do VOD or SVOD. I’m having to work with my viewers. I’m spending lots of money buying content, but with a show like Damages, where if you miss one or two episodes you have to buy the boxed set”. Nelson added that the programme platform, that counts the AXN channels in its portfolio, did not discriminate and would make content available to its operators for their own VOD services.
“We have to respond to that ourselves and what we’re trying to do is to expand the link we have with the customer, by making sure that they can see the content in every room,” said Tomas Franzen, CEO, Com Hem. He added that while there were no immediate plans to introduce the TV Everywhere concept into the Swedish market it was something that was being considered.