Advanced Television

NBCU Chief: ‘TV still a great business’

September 27, 2016

Colin Mann @ RTS London

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, has declared television still a great business, which will continue to be so, despite the changing consumption habits of the millennial generation.

Speaking during an opening Keynote at the RTS London Conference, Burke stressed the importance of positioning companies in the TV industry to maximise their existing infrastructure while preparing for the future.

“Television is still a very good business, and it’s going to be a very good business for a long time.  I was at ABC 20 years ago and sat in a room with a bunch of strategic planning people who predicted that in 15 or 20 years broadcast television would cease to exist in the United States.  I think it’s a true statement, but if you look at the broadcasters in the United States we collectively make more today than we did 20 years ago when we made that bet,” he said.

“So the people like to say, okay, everything is completely changing in a day and it’s all gonna go away.  The traditional television business is still a very good business … I do think it’s unlikely the next 10 or 20 years that the television business is gonna growth the way it has in the last 10 or 20, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still a very good business.  And shame on us if we don’t increase that growth rate or have ambition to increase that growth rate by investing in some of the new technologies.  But to say that it’s going away, I think would be doing a disservice to …  these are still very good businesses and will continue to be.”

Despite NBCUniversal’s strength in TV, movies and theme parks, which he also described as “great businesses”, he said the company was not of the size of industry players such as [Fox], Disney. or Time Warner. “That’s an opportunity for us,” he stated.

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