The interpretation by the media of a particular story is sometimes almost as interesting as the story itself.
The €750 million sale of Liberty Global’s international content arm Chellomedia to the AMC Networks for example was taken by the Daily Telegraph as clearing the decks for a sale of the business to Vodafone. I fear that any cable executive who as much as sneezes over the next few months will be taken as a signal that a sale to the purchasers of Kabel Deutschland was only a formality.
AMC, which runs The Sundance Channel, joins Scripps in US players who were once strangers to the European market that now have a substantial presence.
Scripps also took advantage of cable’s desire to be in the pipe rather than on the stage. A year ago it purchased Virgin Media’s share in the UKTV channels, later buying the international version of Travel Channel, to add to the US version already in its portfolio.
That Virgin Media was then acquired by Liberty Global gives us both a desire to pull out of content and the ever-present trend of consolidation.
Sitting in the background, and acquired by AMC as part of the Chellomedia deal, are the CBS branded channels run as part of the Chello portfolio.
It is almost a curiosity that while the cable companies have gotten off the stage, satellite has more than a hand in the grease paint.
This month eight of the top ten shows across Sky’s entertainment channels were British shows commissioned by the broadcaster. Add to that the Sky Movies, Sky Sports and Sky News brands. Across the channel just look at Canal+.
The BT Sports channel was declared to be an “early success” by the Financial Times. The Freemium strategy – BT hasn’t revealed how many of the 4 million subs are willing payers as opposed to receiving the channel because of their choice of broadband supplier.
I’m no football fan, but my impression of the channel is that it is highly professional, but an as well as rather than a replacement to Sky Sports.
With all the excitement over BT Sport the fact that BT TV (the former BT Vision) is close to one million subs itself has hardly been noticed.