Viacom’s Bakish: “Piracy takes away jobs”

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Declaring that the company has “an incredible collection of IP and brands” Viacom President and CEO Bob Bakish has said the programmer will continue to work with its competitors in combatting the threat of piracy, admitting that less attention was being paid to the issue than perhaps there should be.

Speaking to members of the Broadcasting Press Guild in London, Bakish said that piracy was an issue that seemed less in vogue or less discussed than maybe it was 12 or 2 months ago. “It certainly continues to go on and it’s something we continue to work with our competitors and other entities including governments all around the world as we attempt to safeguard the value of these assets,” he confirmed. “IP assets provide a lot of jobs all around the world. Piracy really takes away jobs from people because there’s leakage of monetisation and certainly if you’re developing content for a market and there’s significant piracy in the market then that affects the revenue and it affects how much content you can develop. It continues to be an issue out there; it continues to be a focus and it probably deserves more attention and more conversation,” he admitted.

Separately, he reiterated comments made earlier in the week at the RTS London Conference that Viacom was not seeking to create another Netflix with its planned direct-to-consumer services, and, while unwilling to confirm Channel 5’s involvement in the mooted UK PSB SVoD service, admitted that reports of such discussions were “pretty interesting”.


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