Important panels that talked about burning topics
Tv Events | Dubrovnik | 14/06/2017
First panel of the day was dedicated to FTAs which are existing strongly on very dynamic and channel full market. Pete Smith, Managing Director of Antenna International simply put it – free is powerful! Matthias Settele, General Director of Slovakian TV Markiza, explained:
„It is not easy to make content for broad audience, but if you do your homework and tell the stories that interest them, everything can be great. The key ingredient is to know your audience.“
Petr Dvorak, Director General of Czech Television, added that lucky circumstance is that public broadcasters have more independence than the other ones, but that also brings a lot of problems when coming to the topic of expenses. Kazimir Bačić, General Director of Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) said:
„Two thirds of viewers are receiving signal from terrestrial network, but we don't want to stop there. We want to be on all the platforms. Our mission is to be the emissary of all channels, on everything.“
The conclusion was that Free To Air channels are not threatened by the newcomers in terms of existence, but definitely have a harder job, since they constantly have to follow new trends and audience reactions.
The panel that certainly raised most interest was that dealing with eSports. Michiel Bakker, CEO of Ginx TV, the biggest international eSports channel, suggested that it is not the next big thing since it already is big thing in the world. More than 400 million people are watching live streams of gamers competing in some of the most popular video games, such as Dota, LoL or some of FPS'. Johannes Neuschmid Founder, CVO & COO of eSport Verband Deutschland, explained eSports area is one of the fastest growing today, not only among the players, but with viewers. Mihajlo Jovanović-Džaril, CEO of Fortuna Esports, pointed out that there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding the players in eSports industry, but almost all players are young, educated people who like to play video games and follow trends. Marcus Meyer, Head of Business & Advertising Innovations, told the audience:
„There is the person who trains, who has meetings with nutritionists, who is earning millions, who is training. When you say that, you are describing a person who does sport for living. eSports gamers are doing exactly the same as some famous sportspersons!“
Tom Henderson, Co-Founder and Director of Digital Sports Mgmt, took time to talk more about his experience with Electronic Arts (EA) collaboration and expressed wish to put more basketball within eSports.
Certainly the most important panel for CEE region was the one that raised the question about why operators in some countries cannot own their own TV channels and why regulatory bodies are controlling some operators more vigorously than others.
Mario Weber, Director at HAKOM, Croatian regulatory agency, stated that telecom operators in Croatia cannot do anything with media production, but they always find their way around the regulations. Weber said that he doesn't see the problem in owning TV channel, but if that happens, there should be exclusive rights for operators. He pointed out that you can have your own TV channel per se, but if somebody else is doing it for you. Slovenian example was carried out by Simon Slonjšak, Head of Smart Living from Telekom Slovenija, who said that in Slovenia, regulators are focusing on operators, but, unlike Croatian operators, Slovenian ones can own their channels and it has proven to be a good practice. Nikola Francetić, Head of Group Content, Media and Broadcasting from Telekom Austria Group, said:
„To produce a good channel, it takes a lot of energy and time. It is not easy, but there are a lot of models to look from! Producing the content that serves the channel and operators' business plan is connected to the mission. I strongly believe that situation in Croatia will change!“
Different experience came from Laima Zivatkauskaite, Vice President of INIT, family-owned cable operator from Lithuania. They own three channels and are more than 20 years old. Since there are 20 operators in Lithuania, it is a very competitive market, but they learn from the mistakes and they know which content interest their public.
Nataša Rapaić, Member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer for Residential Customers for Hrvatski Telekom, expressed the wish for owning operator-based channels and said that Croatia should go in the right direction and join the modern market.
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