Advanced Television

Turner: UK new media springboard

November 28, 2007

From Colin Mann in London

The mix of digital platforms in the UK makes it the ideal springboard for launching new media initiatives, according to Casey Harwood, SVP, Digital Media at Turner Broadcasting System Europe. He told members of the Broadcasting Press Guild that given its global spread, the broadcaster could afford to take bets in international markets and export them back to the US.

Admitting that platform diversity meant that old distribution models no longer existed, and that it was no longer a case of “one size fits all”, he said that some platforms are happy to take channel content and branding for services such as IPTV platforms, but not the linear channels themselves.

He suggested that Turner would need to move out of its 'comfort zone' in the future, looking at alternative genres, and accepted that an increase in 'direct to the consumer' services required different skills from traditional affiliate support activities associated with cable and satellite distribution. “We've been good at library channels,” he said. “New services such as Nuts TV on Freeview mean that we can look at participation TV and advertiser-funded programming.” He felt that Turner was best placed supplying content to social networking sites rather than considering acquiring any such property.

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