US audiences trying to catch-up

By Julian Clover | April 1, 2009 | 21:03 UK

THE CABLE SHOW – WASHINGTON DC. While the likes of the BBC iPlayer give audiences seven days from the original transmission in which to view their content, US providers spoke of holdbacks of up to a week from the original linear broadcast in order to maximise ratings.

Bonnie Hammer, President, NBCU Cable Entertainment and Universal Cable Productions said the broadcaster had been able to use online distribution to boost the linear audiences of The Office. Rich Battista, President, Fox National Cable Networks agreed telling delegates how Fox had been able to promote shows for networks unavailable in all markets.

However, John Lansing, President, Scripps Networks, the company behind HGTV and The Food Network, was circumspect over the benefits of the new medium “It’s a risk we’re not willing to take; we put very few of our programmes online”.

Panellists expressed contrasting attitudes to the online treatment of their content with users offered a combination of original episodes, additional material and short clips as the broadcasters struggled with how to monetise the online medium.