Television executives predict a growing appetite for Internet television, with 47 per cent believing that by 2010 Internet TV will be embraced by the majority of viewers, but for a minority of viewing.
Jolyon Barker, head of Deloitte's Technology, said: “There are a number of factors preventing Internet TV from becoming mass market and competing directly with broadcast. One is uncertainty over the business model, particularly around the viability of advertising. Television executives see the lack of bandwidth (25 per cent) as the biggest concern, with uncertainties over who might fund the billions of pounds required to provide the super fast broadband service needed to accommodate future demand for downloading Internet TV.
“At the moment most viewers simply do not want most of their television to be on-demand. The majority still prefer to have their television scheduled for them. In the future Internet television will become one of the principle options from which the mass market could occasionally source its television viewing, along with direct broadcast, DVDs and PVRs.”
Television executives fear for the future of the traditional television commercial due to the movement of advertising revenue away from television to online (69 per cent). However the report reveals members of the public were mainly content (43 per cent) with the number of commercial channels on television and only a quarter (27 per cent) wanted fewer. The perceived threat of Internet television to the industry will be the ease with which viewers can skip pre-recorded advertisements.
Jolyon said: “It is clear that television and the Internet are not discrete, mutually exclusive advertising media. Broadcasters should not see Internet TV as a threat to traditional TV. A pound spent on the Internet does not necessarily mean a pound lost for television. Internet TV will continue to play a key role in the television sector and one of its biggest contributions will be to bolster traditional, linear television, for example marketing programmes that help to maintain interest in a series between episodes. An increasing