eitvfOn the first night of the Edinburgh International Television Festival, the MacTaggart lecture gives leaders in the television industry a platform to discuss the current issues in television.
This year was the turn of Channel 4 Chief Executive David Abraham who spoke about America’s involvement in the UK TV industry, Super-Indies, create success in television and local TV channels.

David became Channel 4’s sixth Chief Executive in May 2010. Prior to this he was Chief Executive of UKTV, where he led the re-launch of the G2 channel as Dave.
Between 2005-2007 David was President and General Manager for TLC at Discovery Networks USA, where he oversaw all content investment and strategy. Between 2001-2005 David was General Manager of Discovery Networks UK.
David began his career in 1984 at advertising agency Benton and Bowles and was a founding partner and Chief Operating Officer at independent advertising agency St Luke’s.

In recent years we’ve seen a parade of Americans standing up here at the MacTaggart telling us how things ought to be done. But, how do you explain the number of US entities queuing up to buy our producers and now, our broadcasters? Doesn’t this suggest that, maybe, as with our gun laws and health system, it’s us who are showing them how it ought to be done?

The Gold Rush of British Television

2014 could go down as the peak year of the Gold Rush of British Television. In just a few months we have seen a spate of deals that will reshape our industry and alter where decisions get made and by whom.

London Live
And, as is evident from the current challenges of local television, building new sustainable models that deliver public purposes is incredibly hard—and rare. Talking of which: London Live. Wow. A channel dedicated to the most vibrant city in the world that gets fewer viewers than a Poldark rerun.

A TV channel without a data strategy is like a submarine without a sonar and 11m people have now signed up to 4—including half of 16-24 year-olds. What’s the point? Well we can personalise, which works for viewers and for advertisers, and means we can pay for even more programmes.

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By Expat