Commercial broadcasters embrace multiplatform challenges

The European commercial broadcasters, united in the ACT, are embracing the challenges and opportunities of the new media landscape. Meeting in Brussels for their Content in the Multiplatform World conference, the broadcasters stressed their commitment to the new world.

In a statement, the ACT said: “Commercial broadcasters are responding to these developments by adapting their business models with formerly free-to-air players entering into the pay-TV market or diversifying their revenue streams to the online market. They offer a wide array of new services like video-on-demand, catch-up TV and mobile TV and are thus as close to the viewer as possible.”

Ross Biggam, Director General of the ACT, commented: “Companies are radically rethinking their strategies to react to changed viewing behaviour. Broadcasters, producers and advertisers have to respond to the empowered consumer and to new competition in the market. Commercial broadcasters take risks when investing in new technologies and programming but are being rewarded when looking at the success of our channels and programmes all over Europe”.

With 97% of EU households having at least one television, access to television is universal in Europe. Free-TV is available in some form or other to all 196.762 million TV households in the EU and pay-TV take-up is increasing rapidly. More than 63% of Europe’s television broadcasters’ programming time is devoted to European works and over 36% to works by independent European producers.

According to the ACT: “The process of digitisation is a great challenge for broadcasters and viewers. All over Europe ACT members are involved in this process with some countries such as Finland already operating in a fully digital environment. Not only do commercial broadcasters have to invest significant sums for digital switchover, but competition is also increasing. Commercial broadcasters no longer only face competition from established players like public broadcasters but see increasing competition also from new entrants. This new landscape makes it all the more important to respond with the right answers and business strategies, in particular at times of a general economic downturn.”