At the recent Digital Channels Conference in London, Dawn Airey, the managing director of Sky Networks, asked the audience whether they had used the new Sky by Broadband service, which offers top tier satellite subscribers free online access to movies and sports clips. I was the only person in a room full of television executives to raise my hand.
This may be an indication of a lack of interest in this excellent service — you can read the original informitv review in our Opinion section — but it is also an indictment of a general lack of awareness of new forms of distribution among traditional broadcasters. For most of them, a digital strategy consists of adding more channels to their portfolio, providing a web site and looking to offer some of their programmes as video-on-demand.
As telecommunications companies, platform operators and new entrants plan to introduce new broadband video services, the television world is facing its biggest change and challenge since the introduction of multichannel and digital broadcasting. Success in this world will require thinking beyond traditional linear television channels.