There has been a growing realization that telcos will seek to capture the so-called digital dividend with the prospects of broadcasters retaining even their current spectrum allocation looking bleak.
Lieven Vermaele told DVB World in Madrid that if broadcasters wanted to introduce high definition and on demand investment would be needed. The debate emerging was as to who would control the content delivery networks. As it stood it was the telcos that were starting to run their own CDNs.
“If media organisations have to pay more for distribution, there will be no more advertising revenue and no increase in licence fees, there will be less to spend on new services,” he said. “We have to bring broadcast and broadband much closer together. If we don’t do it our digital economy will lose”.
Vermaele said while operators were not willing to co-operate with national broadcasts, at the same time they accepted operators like Netflix on their networks. “We should create a media backbone. Broadcasting can be placed in a cache deep in the network, but we need co-operation with the telco bridge to realise that.”
However, Vermaele questioned whether there was the financing available within the telcos to put in additional investment; suggesting that too much cash was being returned to shareholders.